World

Modi backs Myanmar on Rohingya issue, praises Suu Kyi's leadership

06 Sep 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

Indian PM Narendra Modi praised Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi's leadership in a joint statement during his visit to Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw.

He also appeared to accept the Myanmar government's stance on the ethnic violence with Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.

Myanmar is facing international pressure over the conflict which has left 400 dead and forced 125,000 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.

In context: Modi looks to give India-Myanmar ties fresh boost

06 Sep 2017Modi backs Myanmar on Rohingya issue, praises Suu Kyi's leadership

Suu Kyi a "valued friend"

Modi appears to toe Myanmar govt. stance on Rohingya violence

On Rohingya issueModi appears to toe Myanmar govt. stance on Rohingya violence

"We share your concerns about extremist violence in Rakhine state and the violence against security forces and also how innocent lives have been affected," Modi said.

"We hope that all stakeholders together can find a way out in which unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar is respected."

The Rohingya insurgency stems from Myanmar's persecution of the minority, which the UN has called a genocide.

On terrorismIndia-Myanmar agree to work together to fight terrorism

"Being neighbors, we have similar security concerns. It is important for us to work together" to secure the India-Myanmar border, Modi said.

Myanmar's long porous border with India's north-eastern states has allowed many anti-India insurgent groups to set up bases and training camps there, a longstanding concern for India.

Suu Kyi said together, both countries can ensure terrorism doesn't take root.

Modi had "wonderful meeting" Myanmar President Htin Kyaw

Other issuesModi says India will release 40 jailed Myanmarese citizens

"Your leadership in Myanmar's peace process is commendable, we understand your challenges," Modi said to Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize winner.

He said India would release 40 Myanmarese citizens imprisoned in its territory.

He said Myanmarese citizens wishing to visit India would be given a free gratis visa.

India and Myanmar also signed seven MoUs and announced a cultural exchange programme.

InfrastructureModi attempts to boost India's slowing infrastructure progress in Myanmar

Modi also reiterated India's continued support to Myanmar to build infrastructure and institutions.

"In future, our projects will be in sync with Myanmar's needs and the agreements signed today will strengthen our relationship," Modi said.

He said India's commitment to building roads and bridges signal a long and better relationship with Myanmar.

Modi's statement could provide impetus to India's slowed infrastructure progress in Myanmar.