British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday called on the international community to "get behind" burgeoning reforms in Myanmar ahead of his scheduled historic visit to the country.
Cameron praised Myanmar's President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who this month won a seat in parliament during landmark by-elections largely praised internationally as a step towards democracy.
"Where reform is beginning, like in Burma, we must get behind it," Cameron told university students in Jakarta, referring to Myanmar by its former name.
"So let us pay tribute to those who for decades at huge personal cost to themselves have fought for that freedom and fought for that reform, not least, of course, the inspirational Aung San Suu Kyi.
"Let us also pay tribute to the leadership of President Thein Sein and his government, which has been prepared to release political prisoners, to hold by-elections and to legalise political parties that had previously been outlawed.
"And let us show that when they have the courage to reform, we have the courage to respond."
Cameron is due to travel to Myanmar on Friday -- the first visit by a top Western leader since decades of military rule ended last year.
The European Union is slated to decide on April 23 whether to renew sanctions against the country, which has surprised the world with a series of political, economic and social reforms.
Speaking at Jakarta's Al Azhar Islamic university, Cameron also praised Indonesia as a model for nations transitioning to democracy in the wake of the Arab Spring, saying that the world's largest Muslim-majority nation proved that democracy and Islam can co-exist.
"What Indonesia shows is that in the world's largest Muslim-majority country, it is possible to reject this extremist threat and prove that democracy and Islam can flourish alongside each other," he said.
Cameron was in Indonesia on a five-day tour of Asia, focused heavily on trade, and was heading to Malaysia later Thursday.
While in Indonesia, European plane maker Airbus booked a $2.5 billion deal with national carrier Garuda International to supply 11 A330-300s to the airline.© ANP/AFP