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Modi meets Suu Kyi, discusses India-Myanmar relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi before a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (File Photo)   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the two leaders discussed ways to further cement the bilateral relations.

“Prime Minister Modi and Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi meet in Myanmar, discuss further cementing of India-Myanmar relations,” PMO said in a tweet.

“Meeting a valued friend. Prime Minister Modi with the State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

 

The Prime Minister’s visit to Myanmar comes amid a spike in ethnic violence with Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state. He is expected to raise the issue of the exodus of the ethnic Rohingyas into neighbouring countries.

The Indian government is also concerned about Rohingya immigrants in the country, and has been considering to deport them. Around 40,000 Rohingyas are said to be staying illegally in India.

India and Myanmar were also looking at strengthening existing cooperation in areas of security and counter-terrorism, trade and investment, infrastructure and energy, and culture, Mr. Modi had said ahead of his visit.

Mr. Modi arrived here on the second leg of his two-nation trip during which he travelled to southeastern Chinese city Xiamen where he attended the annual BRICS summit and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.

This is Mr. Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar. He had visited the country in 2014 to attend the ASEAN-India Summit. The Myanmarese President and Ms. Suu Kyi had visited India last year.

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.

Suu Kyi fumes at "misinformation"

Ms. Suu Kyi blamed “terrorists” for "a huge iceberg of misinformation" on the violence in Rakhine state but made no mention of the nearly 125,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled over the border to Bangladesh since Aug. 25.

The leader of the Buddhist-majority country has come under pressure from countries with Muslim populations over the crisis, and on Tuesday U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risk of ethnic cleansing and regional destabilisation.

In a rare letter expressing concern that the violence that has raged for nearly two weeks in the northeastern state could spiral into a "humanitarian catastrophe," Mr. Guterres urged the U.N. Security Council to press for restraint and calm.

Ms. Suu Kyi spoke by telephone on Tuesday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed world leaders to do more to help a population of roughly 1.1 million he says are facing genocide.

In a statement issued by her office on Facebook, Ms. Suu Kyi said the government had "already started defending all the people in Rakhine in the best way possible" and warned against misinformation that could mar relations with other countries.

She referred to Tweets of images of killings posted by Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister that he later deleted because they were not even from Myanmar.

"She said that kind of fake information which was inflicted on the deputy prime minister was simply the tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different countries and with the aim of promoting the interests of the terrorists," the social media statement said.

 

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 10:41:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/modi-meets-suu-kyi-discusses-india-myanmar-relations/article19628805.ece

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