August 29, 2016

Myanmar & India: building bridges

President U Htin Kyaw is welcomed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India. Photo: MNA
President U Htin Kyaw is welcomed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India. Photo: MNA

The third day of President U Htin Kyaw’s visit to India included ceremony as well as substance.
The day started with a welcoming ceremony for U Htin Kyaw and his wife Daw Su Su Lwin at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, India yesterday.
Indian President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi cordially greeted the President and his wife at the ceremony.
After posing for photos together with the Indian President and the Prime Minister, U Htin Kyaw inspected the honour guard.
Next, the President and wife paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat and signed the visitors’ book.
The President then received the Indian External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj at Taj Palace Hotel.
Afterwards, the President attended a working luncheon hosted by Modi at Hyderabad House.
During their talks at the luncheon, Modi and U Htin Kyaw witnessed the exchange of several Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) which included four major deals including one for the construction of as many as 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyeekon-Kalewa Road section, which is considered a trilateral highway in Myanmar.
The two sides also exchanged MoUs on construction of Paletwa-Yargyi road section on the highway, cooperation in traditional medicine and renewable energy sectors.
Modi said Myanmar holds a unique position in India’s neighbourhood, adding that the longstanding cultural and historical linkages between the two countries form a solid foundation of the bilateral relations.
This is the first top-level engagement between India and Myanmar since the new government took office in Myanmar.
U Htin Kyaw is on a four-day visit to India seeking support in the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Myanmar. Myanmar wants India to step up its role in several sectors ranging from infrastructure and education to healthcare and energy.
The two sides also discussed further cooperation in economic, cultural and trade sectors, projects being implemented by the two countries, India’s technology assistance and training to Myanmar, border security and development, demarcation of the remaining boundary sections, promotion of cooperation between the two Parliaments, technology and necessary assistance for restoration of quake-hit religious edifices and matters related to India’s support for Myanmar’s peace and national reconciliation process and the exchange of support  between the two countries in the international arena were discussed.
Then, the President and the Indian Prime Minister held a joint press briefing on bilateral cooperation. A joint statement was released afterwards.
In the afternoon, the President and his wife visited National Museum in New Delhi and a handicraft and housewares exhibition.
In the evening, the President held talks with his Indian counterpart on bilateral relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The last official event of the day was a dinner hosted by  Mukherjee for the President and wife. The two presidents exchanged toasts during the dinner.
—Myanmar News Agency


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