Indian PM asks Myanmar to speed up political reforms


New Delhi : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday urged Myanmar to show urgency in ushering political reforms to bring about national reconciliation.

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The prime minister made the appeal during a meeting with Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win when the latter called on him on the third day of his five-day visit to India.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee reiterated the message.

According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna, Manmohan Singh expressed satisfaction at the “growing bilateral relations”.

But he also “stressed the need for greater urgency in brining about political reforms and national reconciliation in Myanmar”, Sarna said.

“This process had to be broad-based to include all sections of the society, including (the jailed) Aung San Suu Kyi and various ethnic groups in Myanmar,” said Sarna.

U Nyan Win briefed the Indian leadership about the developments in Myanmar, where street protests last year demanding democracy led to a violent crackdown and international condemnation.

The Myanmar minister outlined the initiatives taken by the military junta on the political front.

Mukherjee told his Myanmar counterpart the need to expedite the process of reforms and reconciliation and making it “more inclusive and broad-based”.

He reiterated India’s support to the efforts of UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who has been consulting Myanmar’s neighbours and other countries on ways to push the country on the path of democracy.

India and Myanmar also discussed steps to enhance trade, including connectivity between the two countries.

“Both sides noted with satisfaction the growing cooperation at the regional and multilateral level,” said Sarna.

Energy-starved India discussed cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector.