New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will pay a two-day visit to Myanmar from May 10 during which key bilateral and regional issues, including the situation in the Rakhine state from where thousands of Rohingya Muslims had fled following violence last year, are likely to be discussed.
Swaraj would hold talks with the top leadership of Myanmar and both sides were expected to ink several key agreements covering diverse aspects of the bilateral relationship, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“The External Affairs Minister will hold discussion with Myanmerese leadership on various bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interests,” he told reporters without elaborating.
Kumar said both sides were also expected to review the progress made on decisions taken during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar in September 2017. Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and it shares a 1,640 km border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
On the Rohingya issue, the MEA spokesperson said India has been maintaining that normalcy would return to the Rakhine state with the return of displaced persons. He said India is also of the view that long term solution to the problem in the Rakhine state would be to ensure its socio-economic development.
An estimated 6,00,000 Rohingya Muslims had fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State since August last year after large-scale violence there. In December last, India had announced a development assistance of USD 25 million for the Rakhine state.
India has been concerned over some militant groups from the Northeast region taking shelter in Myanmar. The country has been assuring India that it would not allow any insurgent groups to use its territory against India.The issue of cross border activities by certain insurgent groups may figure during talks between Swaraj and the Myanmerese leaders.