India shares Myanmar's concern over 'extremist violence' in Rakhine state, 2 sides sign 11 pacts

Modi, Suu Kyi vow to combat terror, boost cooperation India to grant gratis visa to Myanmarese citizens
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Agencies
Nay Pyi Taw
6 Sep 2017

India said today that it shares Myanmar's concerns over the "extremist violence" in the Rakhine state and urged all stakeholders to find a solution that respects the country's unity, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The two leaders also vowed to combat terror and boost security cooperation with Modi emphasising that it was important to maintain stability along the long land and maritime borders of the two countries. Modi's first bilateral visit here comes at a time when the Myanmarese government led by Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is facing international pressure over the 125,000 Rohingya refugees that have poured across the Bangladeshi border in just two weeks after Myanmar's military launched a crackdown in the Rakhine state. The Indian Prime Minister, in his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the talks, said India understands the problems being faced by Myanmar.

He said India shares Myanmar's concerns over the "extremist violence" in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of innocent lives of the people and the military personnel. "When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a problem, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which respects the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar," Modi said. At the same time, the solution can bring about peace, justice, dignity and democratic values for all, he said. After Modi-Suu Kyi talks, 11 agreements were signed between the two sides in areas like maritime security, strengthening democratic institutions in Myanmar, health and information technology. Modi, in his statement, stressed on scaling up security cooperation, saying that being neighbours, the two countries have similar security concerns. Taking a strong stance on terror, Suu Kyi said: "Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots on our soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries."

Suu Kyi also thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently. Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state last month, killing 12 security personnel. Modi also asserted that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing.
The meeting between Modi and Suu Kyi came on a day she was quoted as telling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that global outrage over Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya Muslims was being fuelled by "a huge iceberg of misinformation".

Sympathy for the Rohingya was being generated by "a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists", Suu Kyi was quoted by an official statement as telling Erdogan in a call. Suu Kyi has come under fire in recent days for failing to speak out against violence targeting Rohingyas, particularly given her previous image as a champion of human rights. Hundreds have died since Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine State.
The Indian Prime Minister today announced that India will grant gratis visa to Myanmarese citizens wanting to visit the country. Modi made the announcement during his joint press statement with Suu Kyi after the two leaders held wide-ranging talks here. "I am pleased to announce that we have decided to grant gratis (no-cost) visa to all the citizens of Myanmar who want to visit India," he said. He also announced that India has decided to release 40 Myanmarese citizens, currently lodged in various jails in India. "We hope that they will soon be able to meet their families in Myanmar," the Prime Minister said.