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Myanmar President to hold talks with PM tomorrow

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with Myanmarese President U Htin Kyaw, in the first top level engagement between the two countries after iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi s National League for Democracy wrested power in Myanmar from the military junta.

The talks are expected to focus on imparting a new momentum to bilateral ties, particularly in areas of trade and investment, and to enhance management of the over 1,600 km- long Indo-Myanmar border which mostly criss-crosses militancy affected northeastern region.

This is Htin Kyaw s first overseas trip after assuming charge of the top office nearly five months back following the landslide victory of Suu Kyi’s party. He arrived in the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Gaya yesterday where he visited the Mahabodhi temple, the most sacred of Buddhist shrines, Daijokyo Buddhist temple and Myanmar Buddhist Vihara. He travelled to Agra this morning and paid a visit to Taj Mahal before arriving here.

The Myanmarese President is accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, and a high-level delegation comprising several key ministers and top officials.

Besides exploring ways to boost overall ties, the two leaders are likely to also discuss ways to contain militant activities along the Indo-Myanmar border.

“We are intending to make it a really substantive visit,” Sripriya Ranganathan, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs had said on Friday while briefing reporters on the visit.

China has been increasing its footprint in Myanmar and making huge investments in several major projects. For India too, Myanmar is a strategic neighbour and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to the country earlier this week conveyed to its leadership that India was ready to provide “all help” to the country in its march ahead.

Initially India was supportive of Suu Kyi’s fight for democracy but driven by economic and security interests, it had warmed up to the military regime, inviting criticism from her.

Suu Kyi, who is the de facto leader of the new government, will also 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).

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

PTI

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