President Kovind to visit Myanmar from Dec 10-14

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a five-day visit to Myanmar from December 10 to December 14, in an aim to boost bilateral relations between the two countries.

During the visit, the President will visit Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon, and would interact with his counterpart U Win Myint and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.

Several agreements are expected to be signed and a joint statement would be adopted during the visit.

“Through this visit, the President will reaffirm India’s commitment to developing its important partnership with Myanmar. This is a country where India’s ‘Act East’ and ‘Neighbourhood First’ policies intersect. It is also the only ASEAN member state that is both a land and maritime neighbour of India. In the past three years, political, economic and defence ties with Myanmar have grown rapidly,” read the ministry’s statement.

“Therefore, as the highest-level visit from India to Myanmar this year, our President’s visit is expected to maintain the momentum generated by the Prime Minister’s visit in September 2017, and the visit of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to New Delhi in January this year for the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, when she met our leadership,” it added.

India-Myanmar relations are rooted in shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties. The geographical proximity has also helped develop and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to-people contact. India and Myanmar share a long land border of over 1600 kilometers and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.

The visit of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 laid the foundations for a stronger relationship between India and Myanmar. A number of agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation have been signed between the two countries.

Institutional mechanisms for facilitating regular dialogue on a range of issues of bilateral interest have also been established. A large population of Indian origin lives in Myanmar.

India has been responsive to the needs of friendly people of Myanmar and has been providing relief materials and assistance. India provided assistance of USD 1 million for humanitarian relief and rehabilitation in the areas affected by the severe earthquake in Shan state in March 2011.

India also provided assistance of USD 1.2 million to the communal riot-affected people of Rakhine state.