Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set to leave for Myanmar on Tuesday, will have several high-level engagements with Asia’s top leaders in the course of his visit.
He is expected to meet the top Chinese leadership, and Myanmar’s democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This will be the first leg of his visit, which will also take him to Australia and Fiji.
The PM will attend key multilateral events — the ASEAN-India summit and then the East Asia Summit in Myanmar. “Looking forward to meeting leaders attending these Summits,” he tweeted. On the Association of East Asian Nations (ASEAN), he wrote, “Our ties with South East Asia are deep rooted. Strengthening relations with ASEAN nations is an important part of our ‘Act East’ policy”. “ASEAN is central to our dream of an Asian century, where India will play a crucial role. Am sure the meetings there would be fruitful,” the PM added.
Modi will also meet Suu Kyi, for the first time, confirmed ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
Myanmar is currently in the midst of a debate on constitutional reform which will determine if Suu Kyi can stand for elections as president in 2015.
India has deepened bilateral economic and development cooperation with its eastern neighbour considerably in the past decade.
Modi is also likely to meet Premier Li Keqiang, for the first time, in Myanmar. Officials in Beijing said both Li and Modi have tight schedules in Myanmar but are likely to meet on the sidelines, tentatively on November 13.
“After Myanmar, I will go to Australia for G-20 Summit. It is a great platform to showcase opportunities India has to offer to the world,” Modi tweeted. Here, he may once again meet Chinese president Xi Jinping, before embarking on a bilateral visit to Australia — the first by an Indian PM in 28 years. He heads to Fiji for a day on November 19.
(With inputs from HT Correspondent, New Delhi)