PV Desk : Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has underlined the need for safe, voluntary and expeditious return of Rohingyas to Myanmar from Bangladesh.
She visited Myanmar on Thursday and Friday and discussed the issue with the Myanmar authorities.
India and Myanmar have discussed developments in Rakhine State, including return of Rohingyas when Bangladesh is under stress of hosting of million of Rohingyas.
During the visit, Sushma Swaraj met Myanmar President Win Myint and State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi.
She also reiterated India’s readiness and commitment to helping the government of Myanmar in addressing issues related to Rakhine State.
The Indian minster welcomed Myanmar’s continued commitment to implementing the Rakhine Advisory Commission’s recommendations.
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 to meet the needs of displaced persons.
During the bilateral meetings, boundary and border related issues, peace and security matters, developments in the Rakhine State, including return of Rohingyas, India’s development assistance to Myanmar, ongoing projects, and other issues of mutual interest were discussed.
The Minister also met the Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Defence Services, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, during the visit, said Indian External Affairs Ministry.
Seven agreements/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 passports and visas, including for accessing health and education services, pilgrimage and tourism, said the Indian Ministry on Friday.