Indian PM meets Myanmar president in historic visit

By AFP
Published: May 28, 2012
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sing shakes hands with Myanmar Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr U Wunna Maung Lwin. PHOTO: AFP

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Sing shakes hands with Myanmar Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr U Wunna Maung Lwin. PHOTO: AFP

NAYPYIDAW: India’s prime minister held talks with Myanmar’s president Monday in a historic visit to boost trade and secure energy supplies, while contesting the strong influence of regional rival China.

Manmohan Singh, the first Indian premier to visit Myanmar in a quarter of a century, was greeted with a guard of honour as he met leader Thein Sein in the capital Naypyidaw, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

Energy-hungry India is eyeing a raft of agreements with its resource-rich neighbour in a bid to foster closer ties with Myanmar after dramatic reforms in the country ended its international isolation.

Singh and Thein Sein shook hands and posed for pictures with senior Myanmar ministers as the talks began.

The Indian prime minister will travel to the main city of Yangon for talks with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday, in a move seen as a sign that India wants to repair links with the veteran activist.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • j. von hettlingen
    May 29, 2012 - 2:00AM

    India is extremely eager to counteract any Chinese influence in the region. It is particularly keen on gaining access to Burma’s rich gas fields, many of them still unexploited. China has had bilateral relations with Myanmar for decades. It still dominates oil and gas exploration in Myanmar and is involved in the construction of roads, pipelines and port facilities. Now India wants to remind Myamar of their close cultural and historical ties in the past.

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