1. Myanmar President on four-day India visit from tomorrow

Myanmar President on four-day India visit from tomorrow

Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy brought down curtains on five decades of military rule, is the country's foreign minister

By: | New Delhi | Published: August 27, 2016 1:15 AM
Htin Kyaw will be accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, and a high-level delegation comprising several key ministers and top officials (Reuters) Htin Kyaw will be accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, and a high-level delegation comprising several key ministers and top officials (Reuters)

In his first overseas trip after assuming charge of the top office, President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw will embark on a four-day India visit from tomorrow to step up overall bilateral engagement with a major focus on ensuring better management of over 1,600 km-long Indo-Myanmar border.

Continuing with the high-level engagement, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the de facto leader of the new government, will pay a visit here later this year to attend a conclave of regional grouping BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy brought down curtains on five decades of military rule, is the country’s foreign minister.

Htin Kyaw will be accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, and a high-level delegation comprising several key ministers and top officials.

It will be the first visit by a top Myanmarese leader after assumption of office in March by the new government.

Sripriya Ranganathan, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, said Myanmar government has conveyed that Suu Kyi will be coming to India later this year to attend a conclave of regional grouping BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

The Myanmarese president will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday during which a host of issues including border management and ways to contain militant activities along the Indo-Myanmar border are likely to figure. Both sides are also likely to discuss ways to boost trade ties.

“We are intending to make it a really substantive visit,” said Ranganathan, adding a number of MoUs will be signed between the two sides.

Asked about reports that Indian Army had recently crossed into Myanmar’s border for the second time, she categorically said there was no basis to it.

“We have checked with our authorities and it has been conveyed categorically and clearly that Indian Army did not cross into Myanmar. This information was corroborated by Myanmar government. There is very clear understanding that we operate on respective side of our border,” she said.

Ranganathan said there may be efforts by some local people residing in border areas to create confusion.

Myanmar, considered one of India’s strategic neighbours, shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-infested Nagaland and Manipur.

Asked about difficulties of Indian-origin people not being given citizenship papers by local authorities, she said a drive was launched by Myanmar to address their problems. She said very few thousand people are now left with the problem.

The Myanmarese President will arrive in Gaya tomorrow where he will visit the famous Mahabodhi temple, the archaeological museum, Daijokyo Buddhist temple.

He will leave for Agra from Gaya on Sunday. In Agra, he will visit the Taj Mahal and return here in the afternoon.

The visit of the Myanmarese President comes days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj paid a day-long visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

During her visit, Myanmar’s leaders had assured Swaraj that they would not allow any insurgent group to use its territory against India. On her part, Swaraj had conveyed to Myanmarese leaders that India was ready to extend “all help” to the new government.

Htin Kyaw is coming to India at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. He will meet Mukherjee on Monday.

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