1. In a wide-ranging discussion with the Myanmarese President U. Htin Kyaw, who chose India as the first foreign destination after coming to power in March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would stand with Myanmar at “every step” as it opened a new chapter.
2. Chief among the MOUs signed by the two sides was the agreement on construction of 69 bridges, including approach roads in the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa section of the Trilateral Highway, which will establish better connectivity between India and Southeast Asia.
3. Mr. Modi said: “We recognised that our security interests are closely aligned. To this end, the President and I agreed to work together for the safety and security of our people. And, actively cooperate to tackle the common challenges of terrorism and insurgent activity in our region.”
The comments about security threats are significant in view of India’s recent hot pursuit strategy for dealing with rebels in the Northeast.
During the discussions, India supported the national reconciliation and peace process of the Myanmar government under the “21st century Panglong Conference.”
India’s support to the peace process came after China scored a diplomatic victory, leading Aung San Su Kyi, Myanmar’s most powerful leader and Foreign Minister, to visit China first, avoiding India.
Monday’s talks, held at Hyderabad House, were the first high-level interaction after the democratic government came to power in Myanmar after 57 years of military rule.