EAM meets Myanmar DPM, shares concern over violence, instability along border

New Delhi/Nay Pyi Taw, June 26 (UNI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday met with Myanmar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister U Than Shwe during which he shared India’s concern at the continuing violence and instability in Myanmar along the border.

Jaishankar also sought the senior Myanmar leader’s cooperation for early return of Indians trapped in job scams in Myawaddy area.

Jaishankar offered India’s help in engaging with all the stakeholders in Myanmar to address the violent unrest in the neighbouring country.

In a long post on X, he said:

“Met with Deputy PM and FM of Myanmar U Than Shwe as he transited New Delhi today.

“Discussed our deep concern at the impact of continuing violence and instability in Myanmar on our border. India is open to engaging all stakeholders in addressing this situation. Pressed for credible security protection for our ongoing projects in the country.

“Particularly flagged illegal narcotics, arms smuggling and trafficking in persons as priority challenges. Sought cooperation for early return of Indian nationals trapped in Myawaddy.

“Pressed for credible security protection for our ongoing projects in the country.

“Urged early return to the path of democratic transition in Myanmar. India stands ready to help in any manner.”

Following the military coup in Myanmar three years ago, the neighbouring country has witnessed widespread conflicts against the ruling military junta. The ethnic insurgent groups under the Three Brotherhood Alliance have been fighting battles with the junta forces.

The Arakan Army (AA) has established control over large portions of Rakhine and Chin States, that threaten India’s strategic interests, including the US$484-million Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP), which is vital for linking India’s eastern coastline with its Northeastern states through Myanmar.

Around 100 Indians are said to be trapped in Myawaddy after they fell victim to job scams.

Junta Foreign Minister U Than Swe was part of the 19th Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) ministerial meeting in Tehran, where he held talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri Kani on promoting bilateral ties.

According to the Irawaddy Times, Iran is believed to have supplied the Myanmar junta regime with weapons since the 2021 coup.

An Iranian delegation visited Myanmar in January 2022, marking either the second or third Iranian visit since the Myanmar military seized power.

Meanwhile, in capital Nay Pyi Taw, Indian Ambassador Abhay Thakur called on Myanmar Union Construction Minister U Myo Thant.

Both sides cordially and frankly exchanged views on the development of the road and communications sector, the development of border trade and a fast and smooth flow of goods, further improvement of the socioeconomic life of local people, the development of tourism, upgrading of the Paletwa-Zorampu Road and the Yekyi-Kalewa road section aided by India (Grant Aid), and work plans to be carried out regarding the maintenance of 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyikone-Kalewa Road.

These works are part of the Kaladan Multi Modal project.

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