Fiscal talks under way, Obama heads to SE Asia

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With fiscal talks underway, Obama heads to SE Asia

US Representative of Ohio and House Speaker John Boehner, US President Barack Obama and US Senator of Nevada and Majority Leader Harry Reid (l-r) speak to the press during a meeting to discuss the US economy, Roosevelt Room, White House, Washington, DC. (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is about to head off to Southeast Asia to showcase a foreign policy achievement in Myanmar and reinforce the U.S. role as a counterweight to China.

The four-day trip beginning Saturday will provide a brief break from dicey fiscal negotiations and a national security sex scandal in Washington, both of which have competed with the glow of his re-election.

Obama also will visit Thailand and attend a regional summit in Cambodia. It’s his first overseas travel since June.

Obama is the first U.S. president to travel to Myanmar, also known as Burma, where decades of repression are giving way to democratization. The trip also highlights the president’s efforts to expand the U.S. footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

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