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    Thein Sein to hit European trail

    President Thein Sein met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in the Lao
    capital Vientiane in November 2012. (Photo: President’s office)

    22, 2013
    Sein has received official invitations to visit five European countries in the
    near future, according to an announcement in state-run newspaper The New Light
    of Myanmar on February 22. 
    The Myanmar president will travel to Norway, Finland, Austria, Italy and
    Belgium in what will be the first of his official overseas trips of 2013.
    The latest invitations come following the relaxation of sanctions and
    improvement in bilateral relations with the European countries. 
    Norway opened an embassy in Yangon in November 2012; Finnish Minister of
    International Development visited Myanmar in January; and the President of the
    Austrian Chamber of Commerce met with Thein Sein in Naypyitaw earlier this
    Italy recently stepped up cooperation with Myanmar under the supervision
    of UNESCO to aid cultural heritage in the country.