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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
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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