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HONG KONG — U.S. President Barack Obama plans to include the prime minister of Myanmar (aka Burma), a country long shunned by Washington, when he meets this week with leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

While in Singapore — part of his first visit to Southeast Asia since becoming U.S. president in January — he also will attend a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, with the aim of confirming the new direction of U.S. foreign policy.

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