Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla will travel to Myanmar on a two-day visit beginning Sunday during which they will meet top military and political brass of the country including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. Announcing the visit, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it will provide an opportunity to take stock of the existing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
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. The visit by Gen Naravane and Shringla assumes significance as it comes in the midst of the Indian Army’s bitter border standoff with the Chinese military in eastern Ladakh as well restrictions on foreign visits due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“During their visit, the delegation will call on the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing," the MEA said in a statement. It said India attaches high priority to its relationship with Myanmar in accordance with its Neighborhood First’ and Act East’ policies.
“In recent times, both sides have strengthened their cooperation in several areas, including connectivity and trade, development projects, energy, capacity building, defence and security and culture and people to people links," the MEA said. India has been concerned over some militant groups from the North-East region taking shelter in Myanmar. The country has been assuring India that it would not allow any insurgent group to use its territory against India.