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Obama hails 'extraordinary moment' in Myanmar as new leader sworn in

Party members of the National League for Democracy party celebrate in front of the parliament building after the swearing in ceremony of new Myanmar President Htin Kyaw in Naypyidaw on March 30, 2016 (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

March 30, 2016

Washington - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday hailed the swearing-in of Myanmar's new president Htin Kyaw, a close aide to Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as an "extraordinary moment" as the country emerges from military rule.

Obama said he looked forward to working with Htin Kyaw, but cautioned that Myanmar was facing "significant challenges going forward," including on economic development and working to securing personal freedoms for all.

"Htin Kyaw's inauguration represents a historic milestone in the country’s transition to a democratically elected, civilian-led government," Obama said in a statement.

"This extraordinary moment in Burma's history is a testament to its people, institutions, and leaders who have worked together to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, and it speaks to the significance of the reforms the country has undertaken since 2011," he said.

"The United States looks forward to being a friend and partner of the new government and the people of Burma as they make progress toward building a more inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous future."

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