After decades of iron-fisted rule by a military junta, the nation of Myanmar appears to be embracing democratic reform, and the international community has noticed. Following the election of a nominally civilian government in 2010 and the release of hundreds of political prisoners including opposition leader and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the U.S. re-established diplomatic ties with Myanmar and relaxed long-standing travel and economic sanctions. Most notably, Myanmar's reforms have prompted visits by top Western diplomatic officials and politicians, as well as an influx of foreign tourists. Despite Myanmar's continued struggle with ethnic violence, on Nov. 19, Barack Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the troubled nation, also known as Burma.
From holding hands with Hillary Clinton to strolls with David Cameron, here's a look at how Myanmar's relationship with the West has evolved over the past year.
Above, pedestrians walk by a wall adorned with graffiti depicting U.S. President Barack Obama in downtown Yangon on Nov. 11.
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