Army Chief, Foreign Secretary to visit Myanmar on Sunday

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Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane (File Photo)
Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane (File Photo)

New Delhi [India], October 3 (ANI): Army Chief General MM Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla are scheduled to visit Myanmar on October 4-5 during which the two sides will take stock of the existing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
During their visit, the delegation will call on the State Counsellor of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
"Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, few direct exchanges have taken place between the two sides. This visit will provide an opportunity to take stock of the existing bilateral ties and strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest," a Ministry of External Affairs release said.
India attaches high priority to its relationship with Myanmar in accordance with its 'Neighborhood First' and 'Act East' policies.
In recent times, both sides have strengthened their cooperation in several areas, including connectivity and trade, development projects, energy, capacity building, defence and security and culture and people-to-people links.
In May 2012, an MoU was signed on India-Myanmar Border Area Development. The MoU provides for USD 5 million each year over a period of 5 years. This MoU has been extended till 2022.
The programme, which is in an advanced stage, has seen the successful implementation of around 140 projects such as roads and bridges, health care centres, schools, and other such infrastructure projects. In August 2020, the Ambassador of India to Myanmar handed over a cheque of USD 5 million to Lt-Gen Ye Aung. India is also extending socio-economic development assistance for projects pertaining to health, education, agriculture, and allied activities to Rakhine State through a grant-in-aid of USD 5 million per annum.
India has invested in a host of connectivity projects in Myanmar, such as the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project and Trilateral Highway connecting India, Myanmar and Thailand.
With investments of over USD1.2 billion, Myanmar has the highest Indian investment in any country in South Asia. Recently India approved an investment of over USD 120 million in the Shwe Oil and Gas project.
Myanmar has recently ratified the amendment to the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which would enable the expansion of the scope of ISA membership to all member states of the United Nations.
The conservation work of Ananda Temple was started by the Archaeological Survey of India in the month of May 2012 before the visit of Prime Minister of India to Myanmar.
The MoU between India and Myanmar for the Conservation of Earthquake Damages Pagodas in Bagan was signed on 11 May 2018. The effective working season at Bagan is from around October to May every year as for the rest of months the weather is very extreme due to which it is difficult to carry on with the conservation operations.
Renovation of stone inscription temples and Zayat of King Bagyidaw and King Mindon at Bodh Gaya was undertaken at a proposed cost of Rs 0.80 crore under full MEA funding. The project was completed in 2018. (ANI)