President Obama this morning staged a historic meeting with Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as he became the first American president to visit the controversial country.
The warm reception that he received from Suu Kyi, who made headlines for being under house arrest for two decades because of her push for democracy in the country, is diplomatically important as it sends a clear signal the America supports her cause.
Adding to the friendliness between the leaders, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the petite Kyi a giant hug, as the two have met a number of other times before.
Friendly reception: Hillary Clinton gives Aung San Suu Kai a big hug after arriving with President Obama at her residence in Yangon, Myanmar on Monday
Warm welcome: President Obama uses a traditional greeting to say hello to democratic activist Kyi
Political handshake: Kyi is a controversial character in her country as she opposes the military junta that controls the majority of the country but has been embraced by the international community.
Happy to be hosted: Now a member of parliament, Suu Kyi lives in a gated residence with razor wire along the top of the compound walls which is where she hosted Obama and Clinton
Both sides: The President also met with Myanmar’s President Thein Sein during the six-hour trip
Making a point: The President said that while the country has grown in recent years, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done
Quite the crowd: Throngs of supporters lined the street as the presidential motorcade drove through Yangon
Acting like a local: President Obama visited the Shwedagon pagoda as part of the whirl-wind trip
Paying respects: The visit is of great symbolic significance as Obama is the first American president to ever visit
New frontiers: President Obama arrived in Myanmar with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday morning
Putting the past behind: Obama is the first American president to visit the country because of it’s turbulent history
Entering history: The trip is seen as a very significant milestone in the country’s evolution
Greetings: Myanmar, also known as Burma, was rife with human rights violations but has been becoming more democratic under the new government
Embracing: A young girl in traditional dress hands the President a bouquet at his arrival
Welcoming: Students lined the streets for Obama’s arrival, and he is expected to meet with the nation’s prime minister and democracy advocates, and close with a speech at the University of Yangon
Unusual pairing: Obama’s visit was to last just six hours, but it carries significant symbolism, reflecting a remarkable turnaround in the countries’ relationship
Expectations: Obama will meet separately in Myanmar with Prime Minister Thein Sein, who has orchestrated much of his country’s recent reforms
Taking it all in: The president walks off the plane after being greeted by a local official
New venue: The brief visit is a part of a longer tour of South East Asia
Saluting the welcomers: Clinton waves to fans after driving off in the motorcade
Happy Hillary: Myanmar is close to Clinton’s heart as she has met repeatedly with Suu Kyi