Manmohan Singh leaves for Myanmar (Lead)

May 27th, 2012 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday left for Myanmar on a three-day trip that will see him unveil new initiatives in expanding trade and energy cooperation with the oil-rich country besides inking a pact on a bus service between Imphal and Mandalay.

Manmohan Singh meets Monday President Thein Sein who has been carrying out reforms in a country that has seen nearly 50 years of military rule. On Tuesday, he will travel to Yangon to meet pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

The prime minister is accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and senior officials.

This will be the first trip by an Indian prime minister to the Southeast Asian country in a quarter century. The last Indian prime minister to visit the country was Rajiv Gandhi in 1987.

A number of accords are likely to be signed after the talks between Manmohan Singh and Thein Sein. These may include a revised aviation agreement to scale up the number of flights between the two countries. India is also likely to announce a fresh line of credit for development projects.

Ahead of the visit, the Indian cabinet Thursday cleared the bus service linking Imphal in Manipur to Mandalay in Myanmar.

A delegation of CEOs of major Indian companies will be also in Myanmar during the prime minister’s visit. The delegation will be led by Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, and Rajya Vardhan Kanoria, chairman and MD of Kanoria Chemicals and Industries Ltd.

India shares a 1,643 km long border with Myanmar. The Indian states sharing Myanmar border are Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram.

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