PM Modi meets Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar.

Prime Minister Modi also lauded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in helping people in distress, and being sensitive to the concerns of every Indian in any part of the world.

The latest exodus began on August 25, after Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in Rakhine leading to a violent offensive by the Myanmar Army.

The trip comes at time when Myanmar is facing intense scrutiny over exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine state.

People cheer for PM Modi at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon
People cheer for PM Modi at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon

"Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots in our country, on our soil or in our neighbouring countries", she said, adding that peace and stability were most important for development.

Suu Kyi said, "We are facing the same problem as India is facing in Kashmir". A total of 11 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) have been signed between the two governments that entail an array of subjects such as maritime security cooperation, press relations between the two countries and cooperation between the Election Commission and Union Election of Myanmar.

Ms Suu Kyi, in her remarks, thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently.

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.

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Appreciating India's development partnership with Myanmar in the areas of health, education and research, he said: "In this connection, the Myanmar Institute of Information Technology and Advanced Centre for Agricultural Research deserve special mention".

The meeting between Modi and Suu Kyi came on a day she was quoted as telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that global outrage over Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya Muslims was being fuelled by "a huge iceberg of misinformation".

He said in future also India would take up projects that will be according to the needs and priorities of Myanmar.

"Act East and Neighbourhood First Policy".

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Later on Wednesday, the Prime Minister will also visit Bagan, a heritage city where the Archaeological Survey of India is involved in restoration work of a temple and some historical structures, and Yangon where he will interact with members of the Indian community. He said that India has chose to grant gratis (no-cost) visa to Myanmarese citizens who wish to visit the country.

In addition to these agreements, the initiative of building a hospital in Nay Payi Taw has been introduced in Modi's first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit.

Prime Minister Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping for bilateral talks on Tuesday, the last day of the BRICS summit.

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  • Jermaine Castillo