Deepening relationship with Myanmar is a priority for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he met state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi a day after meeting President U Htin Kyaw.
Modi spoke on development and terrorism, while announcing that India would begin giving Myamarese citizens visas free of charge.
The prime minister also addressed the situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine, where a crackdown on Rohingya militants has sparked an enormous refugee crisis. “We share your concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine state&violence against security forces & how innocent lives have been affected,” Modi said, standing next to Suu Kyi at a joint press briefing.
Suu Kyi responded saying, “Would like to thank India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently.”
“We hope that all stakeholders together can find a way out in which unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar is respected. At the same time we can have peace, justice, dignity and democratic values for all,” PM Modi further said.
“Being neigbours, we have similar security concerns. Important for us to work together,” Modi also said. Suu Kyi added, “Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots in our country, on our soil or in neighboring countries.”
“We would like to contribute to Myanmar’s development efforts as part of our ‘Sabka saath sabka vikaas’ initiative,” Modi also said. Going to to talk about Suu Kyi, Modi said, “Your (Aung San Suu Kyi) courageous leadership to the Myanmar peace process needs to be lauded.
Modi announced that India will start given gratis (free-of-charge) visas to Myanmarese citizens wishing to visit the country and added that 40 Myanmarese citizens who are currently in Indian jails will be released soon.
Soon after Modi and Suu Kyi’s delegation-level meeting and press briefing, the Ministry of External Affairs, via Twitter, announced that a number of memorandums of understanding had been signed between India and Myanmar. These included MoUs between the countries’ respective election commissions and press councils.