Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday Myanmar is special India, Warming up to the new leadership that brought curtains on five decades of military rule in that country.
India and Myanmar have decided to step up the security ties and firm up their connectivity plans after Modi held extensive talks with President U Htin Kyaw -- the first top-level engagement with the new government of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD).
The two countries have signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to boost cooperation in areas of connectivity, medicine and renewable energy, besides resolving to deepen ties in a range of other sectors, including agriculture, banking and power.
Modi said both sides recognised that each other’s security interests are closely aligned and that both countries agreed to work together to combat terrorism and insurgent activities in the region.
“We recognised that our security interests are closely aligned. And, we agreed on the need to remain sensitive to each other’s strategic interests and concerns.”
“To this end, President and I agreed to work together for the safety and security of our people. And, actively cooperate to combat the common challenges of terrorism and insurgent activity in our region,” Modi said, with Htin Kyaw by his side.
India and Myanmar shares 1,640km long border with India’s four north eastern states besides sharing a maritime border.
Referring to new Myanmarese government’s agenda of ushering an all-round growth and development in the country, Modi said, “Let me assure you that at every step of the way 1.25 billion people of India will stand by you- Both as partners and as friends.”
The Prime Minister said both sides have also agreed to work towards a long-term and a mutually beneficial arrangement for trade in pulses.
Calling Myanmar a “bridge” that connects India with South East Asia, Modi said “our discussions today have enabled us to evolve a road map and an action agenda for our cooperation.” Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country India shares a land boundary with.
The Myanmar President said his government wants to strengthen ties with India.
Earlier, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also called on Htin Kyaw who is on a two-day India visit.
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.
Suu Kyi made a five-day, high-octane visit to China in March.
Kyaw arrived in the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Gaya on Saturday where he visited the Mahabodhi Temple, the most sacred of Buddhist shrines, Daijokyo Buddhist Temple and Myanmar Buddhist Vihara. He travelled to Agra on Sunday and paid a visit to Taj Mahal before arriving in New Delhi.