Indian PM to Meet with Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi

Posted May 29th, 2012 at 12:05 am (UTC-5)
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Tuesday with Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as he wraps up his three-day visit to strengthen trade and investment links between the two Asian neighbors.

Prime Minister Singh met with Burmese President Thein Sein on Monday. The two leaders signed about a dozen trade and investment agreements, including deals on air services and the Indian promise of a $500 million line of credit.

Mr. Singh is the first Indian prime minister to visit Burma since 1987.

He will visit Aung San Suu Kyi in the commercial capital, Rangoon, before the Nobel laureate departs for Thailand on her first international trip in 24 years.

The meeting is seen as an indication that India is open to reaffirming ties with the opposition activist. New Delhi has long been criticized for its ties with Burma's oppressive former military leadership, which stepped down last year.

Bilateral trade between Burma and India is currently valued at $1.5 billion annually. Analysts say it is expected to exceed $3 billion by 2015.

New Delhi is pressing its quest for energy supplies needed to fuel its booming economy, and Burma's new, nominally civilian government seeks to shed its image as a closed authoritarian state ruled for a half century by military generals.