President Obama concluded his historic trip to Myanmar on Monday, offering to extend a "hand in friendship" to the new democracy.
Obama's trip represents the first time that a sitting U.S. president has visited Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Speaking at the University of Yangon, which was the site of democratic protests in the 1980s, Obama praised the country and the new relationship between the two nations.
"Above all, I came here because of America's belief in human dignity," Obama said, according to the White House. "Over the last several decades, our two countries became strangers. But today, I can tell you that we always remained hopeful about the people of this country, about you."
After years of dictatorial rule, Myanmar has begun a transition toward a democratic system. The country is also one of several nations in Southeast Asia that borders China, a critical player in the world economy, and the U.S.'s chief economic rival in the region.
In his address, the president outline different elements of democracy he hopes to see in the country moving forward, including freedom of expression and reconciliation between sparring groups. Obama also clearly defined the U.S. as a "Pacific nation," a theme he has attempted to capitalize on during his trip. He also made clear at a press conference on Sunday that his trip was not an endorsement of the government.