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Home / India / Foreign secretary begins two-day visit to Myanmar

Foreign secretary begins two-day visit to Myanmar

Shringla is scheduled to hold discussions with the State Administration Council — the military junta — political parties and members of civil society
Foreign secretary Harsh V. Shringla
Foreign secretary Harsh V. Shringla
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Anita Joshua   |   New Delhi   |   Published 23.12.21, 02:42 AM

Foreign secretary Harsh V. Shringla began a two-day visit to Myanmar on Wednesday, marking India’s first outreach to the military regime that has been in direct control since February.

Shringla’s trip comes two weeks after New Delhi’s most pointed comment on the continuing incarceration of ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Shringla is scheduled to hold discussions with the State Administration Council — the military junta — political parties and members of civil society, the external affairs ministry said.

Among the subjects to be discussed are humanitarian support to Myanmar, security and India-Myanmar border concerns, and the political situation in the eastern neighbour.

As part of humanitarian support for Myanmar, Shringla handed over a million doses of vaccines to representatives of the Myanmar Red Cross Society.

No other details of what took place on the first day of the visit were officially shared by either the external affairs ministry or the Indian mission in Myanmar.

The last time India had commented on the Myanmar situation was a fortnight ago, on December 7, after a special court sentenced Suu Kyi to four years’ imprisonment for inciting the public against the military junta and violating Covid protocols.

Responding to the development, the external affairs ministry here said: “We are disturbed at the recent verdicts. As a neighbouring democracy, India has been consistently supportive of the democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld.

“Any development that undermines these processes and accentuates differences is a matter of deep concern. It is our sincere hope that keeping their nation’s future in mind, efforts would be made by all sides to advance the path of dialogue.”

With China’s growing footprint in Myanmar, which shares a 1,643km border with India, New Delhi cannot afford to have zero contact with the military junta on which the US has imposed sanctions following the February coup.



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