Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said he had a “fruitful” meeting with Burma’s military chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Thursday.
Writing on his personal website, PM Modi said that the Burmese commander-in-chief had remarked on India’s role as “a reliable development partner” for Burma, and that his country “considers its relationship with India very important, not only as a neighbour, but also as a country with longstanding historical and cultural ties, shared interests and strong people-to-people ties.”
The pair further discussed plans to deepen defence and security engagement, including maritime affairs.
The Indian premier said that “Myanmar is India’s gateway to ASEAN”, and called for greater connectivity between the two countries and beyond.
He also conveyed his wishes for the upcoming elections in Burma to be peaceful, free and fair.
Min Aung Hlaing’s trip to New Delhi comes a month after it emerged that India had considered carrying out air strikes on separatist rebels on Burmese soil prior to conducting ground strikes inside Burmese territory. According to Indian media reports, Modi decided against using helicopter gunships due to concerns about collateral damage and increasing tensions between India and Burma. On 9 June, Indian Special Forces pursued separatist militants across the Burmese border in retaliation for a rebel attack a week earlier, which reportedly killed 18 Indian soldiers.
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