Sushma Swaraj
Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Myanmar Aug 8-11 to attend the ASEAN-India foreign ministers meeting in the capital Nay Pyi Taw and also the East Asia Summit foreign ministers meeting, an official said Wednesday.

Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Myanmar would be her fourth to a neighbouring country since the Narendra Modi government assumed office. She has visited Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

She would also participate in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting there.

The visit will focus on trade and commerce, environment, science, renewable energy and India’s relationship with the ASEAN countries.

There will be discussions also on how to improve people-to-people contact so that connectivity between India and the ASEAN is intensified.

Sushma Swaraj would also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines with counterparts from China, Australia and Vietnam, among others, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here at a briefing.

“Issues related to border management will figure in the talks. There will be discussions on bilateral trade, too. The new government is very keen to move into more intensive ways of interaction with Myanmar,” he told the media here.

On the question of whether Sushma Swaraj will meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairman of the National League for Democracy, Akbaruddin said Suu Kyi was based in Yangon and hence “the understanding is she will not be available for a meeting”.

Shedding light on the agenda of the 21st session of ARF, he said the focus will be on promoting peace and security in the region, especially in relation to Afghanistan.

He said bilateral meetings with Sushma Swaraj’s Pakistani counterpart were not scheduled. Pakistan is a Sectoral Dialogue partner of the 10-member ASEAN.

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Free Press Journal