Less than three years after visiting Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw for the ASEAN summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to make his first bilateral visit to the country on September 6 and 7, sources told The Indian Express on Wednesday.
The visit will take place just after the BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, from September 3 to 5.
Officials said during Modi’s visit, the two sides are expected to renew their long-standing commitment not to allow insurgent groups to use their soil for hostile activities against the other side, which is essential for prosperity of people settled along the border.
Although this will be Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar three years since he was sworn in, there have been several high-level visits in the iterim.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Nay Pyi Taw from August 8-11, 2014, to attend the 4th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting and the 21st ASEAN Regional Forum Ministerial Meeting. She paid a bilateral visit on August 11, 2014, and revisited in August 2016.
Modi went to Nay Pyi Taw from November 11-13, 2014 to attend the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and ninth East Asia Summit. He had called on Myanmar’s then-President U Thein Sein and met Suu Kyi. During that visit, the Prime Minister had also interacted with around 300 members of the Indian community in Myanmar.
Later, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval attended the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement ceremony on October 15, 2015, in which he was India’s witness signatory, among others that included China, Thailand, the EU, the UN and Japan. India’s presence was a demonstration of support to the peace process underway in Myanmar.
Suu Kyi, state counsellor in Myanmar government, visited India in October 2016 for the BIMSTEC summit in Goa, and met the entire top political leadership in Delhi during her four-day visit. Last year, the country’s new President, U Htin Kyaw, paid a state visit from August 27 to 30.
During the PM’s visit, New Delhi wants to display its commitment to the ties, especially since it describes Myanmar as the key pillar of India’s new ‘Act East’ policy.
By: Indian Express