External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj will be visiting Myanmar from August 8-11 which would be her fourth trip to a neighbouring country, since the Narendra Modi government assumed office. During her visit to Nay Pyi Taw, Swaraj will attend the India-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) foreign ministers meeting. Besides, she will be attending the East Asia Summit (EAS) foreign ministers meeting and take part in the Asean Regional Forum (ARF) meeting.
Speaking at a press conference, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said: "External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be visiting Naypyitaw, from the August 8 to the 11th. This is her fourth visit to another neighbouring country. This emphasises the importance that India place in our neighbourhood." "On the 9th of August, External Affairs Minister will be participating in the 12th annual India-ASEAN foreign minister's meeting. On the 10th of August she will be participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS) foreign minister, on the afternoon itself on 10th she will be participating in the meeting 21st session of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), these are all plurilateral in nature," he added.
The MEA official also stated that Swaraj is expected to meet with important leaders of Myanmar during her visit, including with the country's President, U Thein Sein, apart from having discussions with Myanmar's foreign minister. "On the 11th the External Affairs Minister will have bilateral discussions with her counterpart from Myanmar. She will also meet important leaders of Myanmar including the President and the speaker of the assembly," he said.
"On the sidelines of these meetings, she will have series of bilateral meetings, these include with the foreign ministers of China, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Phillipines, Vietnam, Brunei and Canada," he further added. The MEA official also stated about the issues that could likely feature in all three forums.
"Our relations with ASEAN have reached a critical mass and we are in the process of pushing them to the next level. The ASEAN-India meeting will focus on how to enhance connectivity between India and ASEAN states, people-to-people relations and seamless integration of the economic space," MEA official said. "The meet of the EAS foreign ministers will focus on areas there is co-operation and focus on these are education, energy and environment, finance, pandemic management, disaster management and mitigation, connectivity and food security. Also foreign minister will also discuss the peace and security in the region," he added.
"The ARF discusses in a closed door setting, issues to peace and security in the region. As far India is concerned we will focus on issues relating to terrorism as well as developments in the region in terms of peace and security especially relating to Afghanistan," he further added.