India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India shared Myanmar’s concerns over the violence in its Rakhine state and said all parties must respect Myanmar’s unity as a nation, reported Hindustan Times, an Indian news organisation.
Modi’s first bilateral visit to the country comes at a time when the Myanmarese government 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 crackdown in the Rakhine state.
Modi, at a joint press statement with Suu Kyi, also asserted that India stands by Myanmar amid the challenges the country is facing.
“Your leadership in Myanmar’s peace process is commendable, we understand your challenges,” Modi said at a joint declaration with Suu Kyi in Maynmar’s capital Naypyidaw, further adding that the two countries would jointly fight terror.
Modi also announced ‘gratis visa’ – given free of charge – for Myanmarese citizens wishing to visit India.
Modi and Suu Kyi held talks and discussed ways to further cement the bilateral relations.
“Being neighbours, we have similar security concerns. It is important for us to work together,” Modi said, adding that the two countries must work together maintain security and stability “along our land and sea borders”.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize winner, also spoke on the same lines.
“Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take roots in our country, on our soil or in neighbouring countries,” she said.
Suu Kyi also thanked India for taking a strong stand on the terror threat that Myanmar faced recently.
She said together India and Myanmar can ensure that terrorism is not allowed to take root on their soil or on the soil of neighbouring countries.
Hundreds have died since Rohingya militants raided police posts in Myanmar’s Rakhine State las month.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also called for the Muslims of Rakhine state to be given either nationality or legal status, and voiced concern about violence that has since late August forced nearly 125,000 people to flee and risk destabilising the region.
Modi is expected to raise the issue of the exodus of the ethnic Rohingyas into neighbouring countries.
The Indian government says it will deport an estimated 40,000 Rohingyas staying illegally in the country.