India-Myanmar cement ties as Modi meets Suu Kyi

SansadTV Bureau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Myanmar's State Counsellor Suu Kyi. Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Suu Kyi. Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s capital Nawpyitaw on Wednesday morning. The two leaders discussed ways to further cement the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The countries signed several MoUs to strengthen ties.

PM Modi raised the issue of the exodus of the ethnic Rohingyas into neighbouring countries, including India. On Tuesday, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju had said that the Indian government was collecting data and mulling the deportation of Rohingya immigrants in the country. Around 40,000 Rohingyas are said to be staying illegally in India. region.

In a joint press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Modi condemned the violence against the Rohingyas.

“We want all stake holders to work towards preserving Myanmar’s unity and territorial integrity,” the visiting PM said after his talks with Aung San Suu Kyi.

PM Modi said India stood with Myanmar over the issue of violence in the Rakhine state which has led to loss of innocent lives.

On her part Suu Kyi thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced.

Action against terrorism also featured in the talks.

“Together we can ensure that terrorism is not allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries,” said Suu Kyi.

India also agreed to grant gratis visa to Myanmarese citizens who wish to visit the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Myanmar State Counsellor Suu Kyi. Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Myanmar State Counsellor Suu Kyi. Picture Courtesy: Twitter/@ANI

“Meeting a valued friend. Prime Minister Modi with the State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted ahead of the meeting of the two leaders.

PM Modi arrived in Myanmar on the second leg of his two-nation trip. This is Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit.

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

(With inputs from PTI)