Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has called upon Myanmar authorities to ensure safe, speedy and sustainable return of displaced Rohingya people.
She made the call during her two-day official visit to Myanmar starting on Thursday, said a press release sent by Ministry of External Affairs from New Delhi.During the visit, Sushma met Myanmar President Win Myint and State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Indian minister reiterated her country’s readiness and commitment to helping the Myanmar government in addressing issues related to Rakhine State.
She welcomed Myanmar government’s continued commitment to implementing the recommendations made by Rakhine Advisory Commission.
She noted that under the aegis of the bilateral Rakhine State Development Programme, India was already in the implementation stages of various projects that would respond to the needs of different sections of the Rakhine State population.
The first major project is the construction of prefabricated housing in Rakhine State to meet the needs of displaced persons. The minister also underlined the need for safe, speedy and sustainable return of displaced persons to Rakhine State.
“Boundary and border related issues, peace and security matters, developments in the Rakhine State, including return of displaced persons, India’s development assistance to Myanmar, ongoing projects, and other issues of mutual interests were discussed,” said the press release.The Indian external affairs minister also met the Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Defence Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during the visit.
Seven agreements and memorandum of understandings (MOUs) were signed during the visit. These included agreement on Land Border Crossing, MoU on Restoration and Preservation of Earthquake Damaged Pagodas in Bagan, MoU on assistance to the Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee, MoU on Training of Myanmar Foreign Service Officers, MoU on Setting up Industrial Training Centre (ITC) at Monywa, MoU on ITC at Thaton and Exchange of Letters on extending a maintenance contract for ITC Myingyan.
The agreement on Land Border Crossing is a landmark in bilateral relations between the two countries as it will enable people from both countries to cross the land border with passport and visa, including for accessing health and education services, pilgrimage and tourism, said the release.
The MoU on restoration of pagodas at Bagan underlines the enduring cultural and historical links between the two countries. The other MoUs on technical assistance and capacity building reflect India’s continuing support to Myanmar in accordance with this country’s own development plans and priorities.