Obama said Palestinians will have no chance to pursue their own state and a lasting peace with Israel as long as rockets are fired into Israel. He said he hoped for a clearer process over the next 48 hours — showing how much the Mideast conflict had intruded on his diplomatic mission to Asia.
Still, Obama got a red-carpet welcome, a dose of sightseeing and an official dinner of authentic Thai food.
In a news conference with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, both leaders spoke of deepening ties of trade, security and democracy. Obama’s praised Thailand for being a supporter of democracy in Myanmar, the once-pariah state that is rapidly reforming. He said he appreciated the Thai prime minister’s insights into Myanmar during their private meeting Sunday.
On a steamy day, Obama began with a visit to the Wat Pho Royal Monastery, a cultural must-see in Bangkok. In stocking feet, the president and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton walked up to a giant statue of Reclining Buddha, nearly 50 yards long and 45 feet high. The complex is a sprawling display of temples with colorful spires, gardens and waterfalls.
After his time at the temple, Obama paid a courtesy call to the ailing, 84-year-old U.S.-born King Bhumibol Adulyadej in his hospital quarters. The king, the longest serving living monarch, was born in Cambridge, Mass., and studied in Europe.
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