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Abdul Kalam to visit Myanmar

Kalam will travel to Myanmar immediately after the visit to Mauritius in the same month.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2006 19:45 IST

Reflecting India's conscious decision to keep Myanmar engaged in a sustained manner despite New Delhi's support for pro-democracy icon Aung Saan Su Kyi, President APJ Abdul Kalam will pay an official visit to that country in March this year.

Kalam will travel to Myanmar immediately after the visit to Mauritius in the same month, the President's press secretary SM Khan said.

Officials here said while there has been high-level political interaction between India and Myanmar since 1991, the linkages gathered momentum from 1998 with the visit by Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and former Foreign Ministers Jaswant Singh and Natwar Singh to Yangon and Myanmarese Defence and Foreign Ministers' trip to New Delhi.

The sustained interaction with the military junta in Myanmar irrespective of the reservations in a section of Indian political class clearly reflected New Delhi's determination not to allow national interests hamstrung by ideological posturings.

India has a stake in Myanmar's gas reserves while Yangon has been generally forthcoming in helping Indian security forces'campaign against northeastern Indian insurgents taking shelter in that country.

Besides, Myanmar's can serve as the gateway to India's increased trade with South East Asia.

First Published: Feb 02, 2006 19:45 IST