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Obama commits U.S. support in call with new Myanmar president

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is telling Myanmar’s new president that his election marks a “historic step forward” for democracy in Myanmar.

Obama spoke by phone Wednesday with President Htin Kyaw. It’s their first known phone call since Htin Kyaw took office last month along with Myanmar’s first democratically elected government after more than 50 years of military control.

The White House says Obama offered congratulations and told Htin Kyaw the U.S. is committed to supporting Myanmar and its people in their pursuit of peace, prosperity and inclusiveness.

The 70-year-old Htin Kyaw is a trusted aide to ruling party leader and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Obama also telephoned his congratulations to Suu Kyi. She has assumed a newly created post, similar to prime minister.

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