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Mr. Obama will be the first president to travel to Cambodia and Myanmar. Human rights groups have criticized him for visiting countries that still have political prisoners and serious human rights problems, thereby undercutting efforts to pressure for change.

When it comes to Myanmar, Mr. Carney said the president will use his historic visit “precisely to continue to press for democratic reform, national reconciliation, economic growth and improvements in the bilateral relationships.

“There has been extraordinary progress made since President Obama announced our opening to [Myanmar] last year, but much more work remains to be done to advance and consolidate democratic change,” he said. “Supporting democracy and human rights is a fundamental principle behind the president’s policy in the region and the world, and he will carry that message on this trip.”

The post-election travel marks the second time in a year that Mr. Obama made a major trip to Asia. Last November, he flew to Hawaii to host the APEC summit, then visited Australia and ended his trip in Bali for another summit aimed at boosting security and anti-terrorism initiatives with Pacific Rim nations.