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Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi

MEA defends Myanmar's participation in BIMSTEC, hopes for restoration of democracy in country

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2022 19:40 IST


New Delhi [India], April 7 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday while citing Myanmar's geographical importance defended the country's participation in the BIMSTEC virtual summit and added that India desires to see the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.
The fifth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) virtual summit on March 30 was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the heads of seven member countries of the bloc comprising India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.
While replying to Myanmar's participation in the BIMSTEC virtual summit, MEA spokesperson Bagchi emphasized that Myanmar is an important member of the grouping with important geography that can determine the success of BIMSTEC.
"Let me emphasize that BIMSTEC is a grouping organized around the geography of the Bay of Bengal. It focuses of course on economic development cooperation. We feel it adds real value to the lives of our people. Activities include cooperation for the effective implementation of SDGs target cooperation and build capacities in disaster management among others. Myanmar is an important member of the grouping with important geography that can determine the success of BIMSTEC," he said during the press conference.

He also added that India respects the decision of Sri Lanka, the chair of the BIMSTEC virtual summit which allowed the Myanmar Foreign Minister to attend the summit in virtual mode.
"The decision of the chair, Sri Lanka in this case, which we respected, was that the Myanmar Foreign Minister attend the summit in virtual mode," the MEA spokesperson noted.
The 'Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)' is a regional multilateral organization. Its members lie in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal, constituting a contiguous regional unity. Bagchi also reiterated India's desire to see the restoration of Democracy in Myanmar.
"We have always welcomed participation by Myanmar in BIMSTIC activities and as regards to our position on developments in Myanmar since last year, we have made clear where we stand and there has been no change in our desire to see the restoration of Democracy in Myanmar," he added.
Notably, the Myanmar military junta took control of the country following a coup on February 1 last year. (ANI)

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