Narendra Modi Meets Suu Kyi, Discusses India-Myanmar Relations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed on his arrival at Nay Pyi Taw International Airport Myanmar on Tuesday

The exchange ceremony was held while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi issued a joint statement.

The MoU was signed by Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, Chairman, Press Council of India, and U Aung Hla Tun, First Vice-Chairman, Myanmar Press Council, at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw.

Asserting that India's relationship with Myanmar has always had a very long development cooperation component; High Commissioner Misri said both countries will review all projects that India is working on.

Violence against Rohingya Muslims in Burma's northwestern Rakhine state has sent almost 125,000 of them fleeing over the border to Bangladesh in just over 10 days.

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A government statement said Suu Kyi told Erdogan that the Myanmar administration was "defending all the people in Rakhine in the best way possible".

For several years now, India has steered clear of supporting the West's vocal criticism of human rights abuses in Myanmar - both under Modi and earlier, when the Congress was in power, and equally when the military junta ruled in the neighbouring nation and under Suu Kyi.

He wasn't talking of Rohingya refugees - but of 40 Myanmar prisoners who are now in Indian jails and who Modi's government has made a decision to release as a goodwill gesture. The Prime Minister had in the meantime visited every other neighbour - except the politically unstable Maldives - for bilateral meetings.

In response, Myanmar security forces began days of "clearing operations" they claimed were needed to tackle terrorism.

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"India's democratic experience is relevant to Myanmar".

Myanmar denies its Rohingya population citizenship and regards them as illegal immigrants - even though many have lived in the country for generations.

The Prime Minister announced gratis visas for all Myanmar nationals keen to visit India.

Some Western critics have suggested the Nobel Peace Prize she won in 1991 as a champion of democracy be revoked. Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

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