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News from India (r)

                SHERVANI IN MYANMAR

By V. Jayanth

Singapore, Nov, 6. In what promises to be a "turning point"
in  bilateral relations,  the Minister of State for Foreign
Affairs,  Mr. Saleem I. Shervani,  arrived in Yangoon today
on a two-day visit to Myanmar.

On his way back from the G-15 Summit in Kuala Lumpur,  Mr,,
Shervani  arrived in Yangoon to  inaugurate a Trade Fair on
Friday.   He  utilised the  visit  to reinforce  a strained
relationship  with a strategic neighbour,  who now provides
the   land   border   link   for   India   to   the  Asean.

Speaking  to The Hindu from his Yangoon hotel, Mr. Shervani
said  "There  has been  a  tremendous response  and  we are
looking  towards a new dimension in our relationship.  This
visit  is to reinforce  our interest in  Myanmar and I told
them  that though they  are not part of  SAARC,  they are a
very  important neighbour and  the Gujral doctrine includes
them also."

He   said  that  during  his   meetings  with  the  Myanmar
Ministers,   the  question of  Indian  support to  the pro-
democracy movement was also raised. "I told them India is a
vibrant  democracy and we do  not just preach freedom,  but
also  practice it.  But India will never allow itself to be
used  by  anybody  to  destabilise  another  country."  Mr.
Shervani,  who arrived only this afternoon., had a detailed
discussion  on bilateral,  subregional  and regional issues
with  the Foreign Minister,  Mr.   Ohn Gyaw.  Trade related
issues   figured  in  his  discussions  with  the  Commerce
Minister as well. He will meet up with the Secretary of the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), Lt.
Gen. Khin Nyunt on Friday.

This  visit assumes significance because it has been a very
long time since there has been a Ministerial visit from the
Indian  side and  there are  also concerns  that the ruling
Generals are not being invited to undertake State visits to
India.  This is something that has to be sorted out between
the  two sides.   (The Hindu,  Friday,   November 7,  1997)

News  and  Information Bureau,   All Burma  Students League

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