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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Advances in India's relationship with Myanmar

Por Olivia Rosario Rodríguez

The nations of India and Myanmar recently signed seven memoranda of undestanding relates with the border crossing, the restoration and preservation of pagodas, the fire work control and the training of foreign service. These avances were possible after the visit of Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj to the southern nation.

Swaraj, Indian head of Foreign Affairs, met during her visit to the Asian country -also known as Burma- with Myanmar's president Win Wyint, an the State Councilor and External Affairs Minister, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The politicians discussed borders, peace and security, development of Rakhine State, and the return of displaced people, ongoing projects, development assistance in Myanmar, among other things. The Indian foreign minister also met with Myanmar Defense Services' Commander in Chief, General Min Aung Hlaing.

As part of the meeting, the Foreign Minister reiterated India's willingness and commitment to assist the Government of Myanmar with the issues related to the Rakhine State, including a prefabricated housing construction project to satisfy the needs of the displaced people. Swaraj also stressed the necessity for a safe, fast and sustainable return of the displaced to Rakhine State.

Among the seven signed agreements or memoranda are the land border crossing, the restoration and preservation of the pagodas damaged by the earthquake in Bagan on August 24, 2016. Also was signed a settlement about the assistance to the cease-fire control committee, as well as the training of foreign service officials and the creation of industrial training centers.

The restoration of pagodas in Bagan enhances the enduring cultural and historical bonds between the two nations. The other understanding memoranda on technical assistance and capacity building, reflect India's continued support to Myanmar in accordance with its development plans and priorities.

The Agreement on land border crossing is an extraordinary event in bilateral relations between the India and Myanmar since it will allow people from both sides to cross the land border with a passport and a visa, even if it is to access health and education services, pilgrimage and tourism.

Undoubtedly a great step forward to strengthen the relations between both Asian nations, something that would help to its development.