We have close cultural and people-to-people ties, says MEA.
India on Thursday struck a cautious note on the developments in Myanmar saying it continues to monitor the situation. Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava during the weekly press briefing highlighted regional developments including Sri Lanka’s cancellation of the East Container Terminal (ECT) pact with Japan and India and reminded Colombo to adhere to international commitments for “mutually beneficial proposition”.
“India and Myanmar are neighbours with close cultural and people-to-people ties, bolstered by trade, economic, security and defence-related exchanges. We are therefore monitoring the developments closely. We are also engaged on the issue as a member of the U.N. Security Council,” he said.
India had earlier expressed “deep concern” after the February 1 military takeover was first reported from Myanmar and asked for maintenance of the “rule of law and the democratic process”.
Reiterating the concern on the Sri Lanka pact, he said High Commissioner Gopal Baglay is in talks with the government.
“We sincerely believe that the development of infrastructure in Sri Lanka, in areas such as ports and energy, with foreign investment from India and Japan will be mutually beneficial proposition.” The Hindu had earlier reported that Mr. Baglay had met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena after Sri Lanka refused to adhere to the tripartite May 2019 agreement to develop the strategic terminal with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
The Adani Group and Japanese stakeholders were to invest in the approximately $700-million project.
Bajwa’s remarks on Kashmir
Responding to Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s remarks on Kashmir, Mr. Srivastava said the ‘onus’ for creating the atmosphere for talks is on Pakistan. “Our position is well known. India desires normal neighbourly relations in an environment free of terror, hostility and violence.”
General Bajwa had earlier expressed willingness to resolve the Kashmir issue and said Pakistan stands “firmly committed” to the ideal of “mutual respect and peaceful co-existence”.