India to stand by new Myanmar government: Modi

Vientiane (Laos), Sep 8 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India will always stand by the new National League for Democracy (NLD) government in Myanmar.

He said this during a meeting with State Counsellor and Foreign Minister of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the 14th India-Asean Summit and the 11th East Asia Summit here.

This was the first meeting between the two leaders since the Nobel peace laureate’s NLD assumed power in Myanmar in March this year.

“Prime Minister complimented Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on the victory of the NLD in the elections,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson told media here after the meeting.

Stating that Modi welcomed Suu Kyi as an icon of democracy, he said: “The Prime Minister said India would always stand with the government and people of Myanmar as the new government strives to fulfill the aspirations of the people.”

Modi also said that he was looking forward to receiving Suu Kyi in Goa next month for the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit.

India has assumed the chairmanship of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and has invited the leaders of the Bimstec (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries to the Goa summit.

Modi said that cooperation in disaster management would be one of the important elements of the summit given that several countries in South Asia continue to face natural disasters, according to Swarup.

“Daw Aung San Suu Kyi thanked Prime Minister and said she was looking forward to visiting India where she had always felt ‘at home’,” the spokesperson said.

Suu Kyi spent a considerable part of her early life in India and was educated at Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi.

Last month, Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw was in New Delhi on his first official visit abroad after assuming charge.

In Thursday’s meeting, Suu Kyi briefed the Prime Minister on the progress in the peace and reconciliation process in Myanmar even as both the sides positively assessed India-Myanmar security cooperation.

“They discussed further cooperation in areas such as dairy farming, animal husbandry and agriculture,” Swarup said.

“The Prime Minister spoke about a possible agreement on pulses which had been discussed during External Affairs Minister’s visit to Myanmar.”

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Nay Pyi Taw last month following which President Kyaw came on a four-day visit to India.

Modi and Suu Kyi also discussed cooperation in the area of the countries’ shared Buddhist heritage, according to Swarup.

Earlier in the day, Modi also held bilateral meetings with host and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The India-Asean Summit is being attended by the leaders of India and 10 southeast Asian nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.

The East Summit is also being attended leaders of the 10 Asean nations and those of India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.

–IANS

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