President Obama gets a little too flirty with Thai prime minister
Obama photographed in clench with Aung San Suu Kyi
Eyebrows went skyward as the recently re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama brought a new brand of foreign relations. Obama appeared to flirt with Thailand's attractive prime minister on his first stop of his three-day tour of Southeast Asia. Obama and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were seen laughing together and exchanging playful glances at a state dinner in Bangkok this weekend.
President Obama had jetted to Myanmar previously , where he was pictured lavishing affection on Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader who was under house arrest for two decades following her fight for democracy.
Obama was then joined in Thailand by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. They both then visited Myanmar - also known as Burma - and Cambodia, making Obama the first U.S. president to step foot in either country.
Obama said it was "no accident" that he planned his first foreign trip to Asia after winning re-election. At a news conference on Sunday in Bangkok, Obama emphasized that the U.S. is a "Pacific nation."
Obama says that the Asia-Pacific region will be crucial for creating jobs in the U.S. and shaping its security and prosperity. In addition, the U.S. president praised Thailand for being a supporter of democracy in Myanmar, the once-pariah state that is rapidly reforming.
The president's visit was a big hit in Thailand, where adoring crowds gathered around him and chanted "Obama, Obama" as he visited the Temple of Reclining Buddha just after arriving in Bangkok.
The Temple of Reclining Buddha was the first stop on President Barack Obama's Asian tour that will also take him to Myanmar and Cambodia.
A saffron-robed monk led Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton through the 18th century temple's stoned paved compound of multi-colored spires and chapels with hundreds of gilded Buddha images.
The chief attraction is the reclining Buddha statue that at 150 feet long, and 50 feet high, stretches half the length of a football field.
A smiling Obama waved from the back seat of his armored Cadillac, which drove slowly alongside cheering crowds as he headed to a royal audience with Thailand's revered, ailing monarch, 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Obama will be dividing his attention in his Asian visit by monitoring the escalating conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Obama has been in regular contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as with Egyptian and Turkish leaders who might hold sway with the Hamas leadership.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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