PM Manmohan Singh set to
visit Myanmar and Iran, symbolising India’s policy of engagement based on national interests

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is set to visit Myanmar and Iran, symbolising India's policy of engagement based on its national interests that is not dictated by Western powers.

Singh is expected to make a bilateral visit to Myanmar in the last week of May - the first by an Indian Prime Minister in many years.

The trip assumes an extra importance in the back drop of an overwhelming bypoll victory of embattled democratic icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

This would yet again be a vindication of India's policy towards engaging Myanmar, reflecting its strong commitment to help the country's transition to democracy.

A MoU in the field of defence could be signed during Singh's visit.

While Myanmar has been cooperating with India to fight insurgency along the common boundary, the latter has rendered assistance to develop Myanmar's energy-rich infrastructure.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The PM will meet Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Aung San Suu Kyi (right)

The country is India's gateway to Southeast Asia and is crucial for its 'Look East Policy'. Later in the year, Singh is expected to visit Iran to attend the Non-Aligned Movement's 16th summit.

The visit may have a bilateral component as well.

The Prime Minister is likely to have a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sideline of the summit.

Last week, Singh had warned the US and rest of the western world of 'disastrous consequences' of a conflict with Iran over the latter's controversial nuclear programme.


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