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Salman Khurshid to visit Myanmar in first bilateral trip

New Delhi,Diplomacy,Indo-Pak/Pakistan, Tue, 11 Dec 2012 IANS

New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) In his first bilateral trip abroad, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is to visit Myanmar from Dec 14-16 during which he will call on President Thein Sein and also inaugurate the International Buddhist Conference in Yangon.

Khurshid is likely to meet Myanmar's pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi during the visit, external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said at an official briefing here Tuesday. Suu Kyi had visited India last month, during which she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders.

The external affairs minister's visit to Myanmar "re-emphasizes the importance we place on relations with our neighbours, also that it is located as part of our Look East Policy indicates the importance that we are providing to our Look East Policy", said Akbaruddin.

Khurshid will hold talks with his Myanmarese counterpart U Wunna Maung Lwin in capital Nay Pyi Taw.

With Thein Sein likely to attend the Dec 20 ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi, Khurshid's visit "is a precursor to those discussions", he said.

The minister will travel to Yangon where he is to inaugurate the International Buddhist Conference on Dec 16 where the Sarnath Buddha statue sent by India is to be formally inaugurated at the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Myanmar earlier this year had indicated that India would present a Sarnath Buddha statue.

Khurshid will also visit the Anandi Temple which is being restored with the assistance of the Archaeological Survey of India.

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