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He noted that military rule imposed in 1962 had ended. The country has adopted a new constitution and the government has instituted political and economic reforms. His administration is also working to peacefully end conflicts that have plagued the country, formerly known as Burma, since its independence in 1948, he said.

Myanmar’s military continues to dominate politics and economics. The constitution guarantees the military a quarter of the seats in the lower house of parliament and one-third in the upper house.

Thein Sein said his government is in the process of reforming the military for its role in the democratization and peace-building process.

Thein Sein’s visit to Washington was the first by a leader of Myanmar since President Lyndon B. Johnson hosted military strongman Ne Win in 1966.