Meeting with Suu Kyi means Obama now must play a delicate balancing act between the symbolic leader of the country, and the ruling President Thein Sein, leader of the majority party.
At a ceremony on Tuesday, U.S. Senator from Kentucky Mitch McConnell called Suu Kyi “a remarkably courageous woman” in his remarks, and said that if not for her “quiet determination, democratic reforms might have seemed a lost cause under the Burmese junta.”
At a press briefing on Wednesday morning, U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters, “The United States has been very supportive of the reform track in Burma. We’ve been working hand-in-glove both with the Burmese Government, President Thein Sein, but also with Aung San Suu Kyi, on how we can encourage in a step-by-step way more progress and lifting our own restrictions as they make progress.”