Thursday, December 13, 2012

India’s Khurshid to visit Burma, Thein Sein to visit India

Thursday, 13 December 2012 00:00 Mizzima News

Burmese President Thein Sein will make his second visit to India next week when he is due to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit that begins on December 20.

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid (C) interacts with the media at Parliament house during the winter session in New Delhi on December 5, 2012. Photo: AFP

Prior to the President’s trip, India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will make a three-day visit to Burma from December 14 to 16, according to Indian media citing a spokesperson from India’s foreign ministry in Delhi.

The recently-appointed External Affairs Minister Khurshid will meet top Burmese officials including his counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, and the President in Naypyitaw during his first official visit to the country.

The high-level exchanges mark a warming in relations between the two nations since President Thein Sein’s government assumed power in March 2011.

Khurshid hosted a dinner for Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on November 15 during her visit to India. Mizzima has learnt that he will meet Suu Kyi again on his upcoming visit to Burma.

During his official visit, Khurshid will help open the International Buddhist Conference in Rangoon on December 16, and officially inaugurate a 16-foot-high statue of Lord Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda.

The giant limestone Buddha statue was donated by India as a “gift of peace.”

Khurshid is also scheduled to visit Bagan where the Indian archeological department has been working to preserve the ancient Ananda Temple.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry said that the Minister’s visit to Burma will help re-emphasize the importance that India places on relations with its neighbors.

Burmese President Thein Sein visited India in October 2011, and the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Burma in late May, 2012. The two leaders signed several economic agreements, including an MOU on a US$ 500 million “Line of Credit” extended by India.

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