Chief of Indian Army General MM Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla along with a delegation will visit Myanmar during a two-day-long official tour on Sunday and Monday.
During their visit, the delegation will call on the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, external affairs ministry official said.
This visit of the Indian officials assumes significance following the fact that neighbouring China is also trying to reach out to India’s neighbours.
“India – Myanmar relations are historic, multifaceted and marked by mutual trust and respect. India attaches high priority to its relationship with Myanmar in accordance with its ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies,” the official said.
In recent times, both sides have strengthened their cooperation in several areas, including connectivity and trade, development projects, energy, capacity building, defence and security and culture and people to people links.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, few direct exchanges have taken place between the two sides. “This visit will provide an opportunity to take stock of the existing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” the official added.
Earlier, on Thursday the 19th round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Myanmar took place through virtual mode. The Indian delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Shringla and the Myanmar delegation was led by Permanent Secretary, U Soe Han.
During the consultations, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of relations, including border cooperation and upgradation of border infrastructure, the status of India’s ongoing development projects in Myanmar, trade and investment ties, power and energy cooperation, consular matters and cultural cooperation, including the ongoing restoration work on earthquake-damaged pagodas in Bagan. Cooperation in regional and multilateral fora was also discussed.
Both sides expressed satisfaction that despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, meetings in several areas, including power, energy etc., have been held through virtual mode, reflecting the depth of the bilateral engagement. It was noted that the next Joint Trade Committee Ministerial Meeting to be held on October 20, will be useful in further strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations.
Foreign Secretary reiterated the priority India attaches to its partnership with Myanmar in accordance with India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies. He stated that India remained committed to enhancing its multifaceted cooperation with Myanmar and also to explore new avenues of cooperation.