Myanmar cannot be isolated: India
India has been urged to use its influence to bring democratic reforms in Myanmar.india Updated: Jul 26, 2006 17:38 IST
India, which has been urged to use its influence to bring democratic reforms in Myanmar, said on Wednesday that one specific country couldn't be isolated and chided for not following democratic norms, as there were others who also fell into that category.
At the same time, New Delhi underlined the importance of democracy after Australia asked it to use its influence on Myanmar to help turn the ASEAN member a "new leaf".
"We do not choose our neighbours, we have to live harmoniously. There are other neighbours too who are not following democratic norms," Minister of State for Defence Rao Indrajit Singh said, apparently referring to Pakistan.
Singh, who is here to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum, told Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer that New Delhi has always been a champion of democracy.
"We wish democracy would prevail, but we cannot isolate Myanmar, there are other countries too," Singh told the agency after meeting Downer and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Tham Gia Khiem at bilateral meetings ahead of the ARF.
India enjoyed good and peaceful ties with Yangon, Singh said adding, "we have to live with them."
He also credited Myanmar with squashing ambitions of terrorists from India's northeast who wanted to seek refuge there.
ASEAN has been disappointed with Myanmar's refusal to take steps towards democratic reforms and the continuing house arrest of Nobel laureate Aung Sang Suu Kyi.