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Joint statement issued on the occasion of the state Visit of the state Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Republic of India

20 October 2016

1. At the invitation of H.E. Shri narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the republic of India, H.E. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the republic of the Union of Myanmar, paid a State Visit to India from October 17-19, 2016. Earlier, the State Counsellor had participated in the BrICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit in Goa on October 16.

2. State Counsellor Daw aung San Suu Kyi was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included U Kyaw Win, Union Minister for Planning and Finance, U Kyaw Tin, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, U Toe Aung Myint, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and U Kyaw Linn, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Construction. She was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the rashtrapati Bhavan on October 18, 2016. The Prime Minister hosted a lunch in her honour.

3. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi paid tribute and respect to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at rajghat. She recalled the historic and fraternal support extended by the leaders of both India and Myanmar to the freedom movements in each others’ country.

4. H.E. Smt Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister of India, had a meeting with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

5. The Indian leadership congratulated the State Counsellor on the historic achievement of the national League for Democracy at the general elections in Myanmar last year and underlined India’s commitment to support the Government of Myanmar in its quest to achieve the aspirations of the Myanmar people.

6. The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on various issues of mutual interest. India expressed support for the efforts of the State Counsellor for the economic and social development of the country, especially job creation, capacity building, reconstruction of roads, provision of power, education facilities and health infrastructure that would contribute to progress and prosperity of the people of Myanmar. It was agreed that areas for cooperation identified during the visit to India of Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw in August 2016 would be fast-tracked for implementation.

7. India expressed the hope that, as a diverse and pluralistic society, Myanmar would be able to find equitable solutions peacefully through consultations among all stakeholders. India reaffirmed its commitment to assist Myanmar’s efforts for strengthening democratic institutions and to support the 21st Century Panglong peace process now underway in Myanmar and expressed the hope that this would lead to enduring peace.

8. In the context of the recent terrorist attacks in Uri, the State Counsellor condemned the terrorist incident and conveyed her deep condolences to the loved ones of those who lost their lives. The Prime Minister also condemned the recent armed attacks against three border posts in the northern part of Rakhine State and expressed his profound sympathy for the families of the policemen killed in the attacks.

9. Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as all acts, methods and practices of terrorism wherever, by whomever, against whomsoever committed and agreed that the fight against terrorism should target terrorists, terror organisations, networks and also hold to account states that encourage, support or finance terrorism in any way. Both sides also agreed that terrorism is first and foremost a violation of human rights and that there can be no justification for extending support, financing, provision of material resources or training to terrorists who destroy innocent lives. Both countries called for the expeditious finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism presently being negotiated in the United Nations.

10. Both sides shared the view that maintaining security along the border is essential for the socio-economic development of the border area. In this regard, both sides underlined their mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight insurgent activity and the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Both sides also agreed that the long-standing commitment not to allow insurgent groups to use their soil for hostile activities against the other side is essential for the prosperity of the people residing along the border. In this context, it was agreed that the Border Guard Forces on both sides would further coordinate and exchange information towards securing the common borders. Both sides also agreed to expedite discussions regarding relevant border segments.

11. Both sides expressed their mutual respect for the already-demarcated boundary between the two countries, and stressed the need to resolve outstanding boundary demarcation issues as soon as possible through existing mechanisms.

12. Understanding that enabling and facilitating regulated and easy movement of people across the land borders for business, tourism and other purposes is in the interest of both countries, both sides also agreed to coordinate, through diplomatic channels, the setting up of immigration facilities at the Tamu-Moreh and RhiZowkhathar border crossing points.

13. Both sides agreed to remove impediments to trade and commerce to enable bilateral trade and investment to reach its full potential. It was agreed to hold early meetings of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC), Joint Working Groups on Border Trade and Border Haats, and Joint Working Groups on Railways and Shipping. Myanmar side reiterated its intention to invite Indian companies to participate in competitive tenders for petrochemical and petroleum products, marketing infrastructure and the setting up of LPG terminals.

14. Both sides agreed on the need for close cooperation on the development of ocean-based Blue Economy and Maritime Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and to chart out ways for future cooperation.

15. The two sides reviewed the development cooperation initiatives being undertaken with technical and financial assistance from the Government of India and agreed that these should be expedited, as the areas of connectivity upgradation, capacity building, agriculture, education infrastructure, healthcare and IT and industrial training, and various other training programmes are directly linked to the well being of the people.

16. India expressed its willingness to support pulses research in Myanmar by extending cooperation in the area of developing improved varieties, cultivation practices and pulses procurement. The project proposal on the Establishment of Varietal Development and Seed Production Centre on Pulses would be finalized soon.

17. Recognising the contribution of power infrastructure, generation and transmission capacity to socio-economic progress, India will assist in strengthening the power supply elements on projects identified by the Myanmar Government. In this context, both sides expressed satisfaction over the signing of an MoU between India and Myanmar on Cooperation in the field of Power.

18. As a technology demonstration pilot project, Myanmar welcomed the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with regard to the provisioning and installation of an LED based energy efficient lighting project in Myanmar. Both sides agreed to select the location through consultations between India, Myanmar and relevant state government.

19. Recognizing the need to upgrade training infrastructure and capacity-building of the Police, India agreed to support Myanmar in creating police training infrastructure and to share expertise in developing training manuals, including in forensics and cyber-security. The Yamethin Women’s Police Training Centre would be developed into a Centre of Excellence by providing appropriate standards, environment, infrastructure and materials for training.

20. The Myanmar side expressed its deep appreciation to the Government of India for all assistance rendered to Myanmar in its endeavours for economic and social development.

21. The India side agreed to Myanmar’s request for the provision of more diplomatic training related to the capacity building of Myanmar Foreign Service officials and to assist Myanmar in its ongoing efforts for the development of a diplomatic academy in Yangon.

22. The two sides agreed to set up an Eminent Persons Group to explore means of consolidating and further expanding the multi-faceted relations between the two countries. It was decided that the modalities for the establishment and working of the Group would be worked out subsequently.

23. Turning to regional and multilateral affairs, both leaders noted the commonality of their views on global issues of consequence. Both sides underlined the need for early reform of the UN Security Council. Myanmar side reiterated its support for India’s efforts to become a permanent member in an expanded and reformed UN Security Council.

24. The Myanmar side congratulated India for the successful hosting of BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit which has been just concluded in Goa. The two sides also took note of discussions during the Outreach Summit and expressed their shared commitment to promoting regional cooperation, particularly in the areas of trade, transportation, connectivity, energy and counter terrorism within the BIMSTEC framework.

25. The State Counsellor thanked the President of the Republic of India for the warmest hospitality accorded to her and the delegation and especially for the accommodation arrangement for the delegation at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace). She also thanked the Prime Minister of India for the exceptional hospitality extended to her and to the members of the delegation during their visit to India.

26. The State Counsellor extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of India to visit Myanmar at the earliest possible mutually convenient date and the invitation was accepted. The dates for the visits will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

Press release regarding the attacks on the Border Guard Police posts in Maungdaw Township

13th October 2016

1. On the morning of 9th October 2016, armed attackers carried out a surprise attack on Kyikanpyin Border Guard Police (Number One) Headquarters, Kotankauk Police Outpost, and Ngakhuya Local Police Office. As a result of this attack, 9 members of the Myanmar Police Force were killed, and 48 weapons of various types and 6624 rounds of assorted ammunition, 47 bayonets, and 164 magazines were lost. Following the defensive actions of the police, the bodies of 8 attackers were found, and 2 attackers were captured alive. From them, 1 homemade pistol, 2 rounds of ammunition, and 1 magazine were recovered.

2. The armed attackers, with the weapons and ammunition they had seized, continued to move around the Maungdaw District and carry out attacks. Tatmadaw infantry units together with members of the Myanmar Police Force have carried out joint combat operations against the attackers. Joint columns of Tatmadaw and police have conducted clearance operations in the areas where the attackers are hiding. During these operations they have had frequently come into armed contact with the attackers. So far, five members of the Tatmadaw have given their lives.

3. According to the initial findings of the interrogations of the two attackers who were captured and two additional attackers whom Bangladesh handed over to Myanmar, the attacks in Maungdaw Township were systematically planned in advance over a long period of time, assisted by foreign funding and the support of members of foreign terrorist organisations.

4. According to the findings of the interrogations, the attacks in Maungdaw were intended to promote extremist violent ideology among the majority Muslim population in the area. Using Maungdaw as a foothold, this was an attempt to take over the areas of Maungdaw and Buthitaung. For this, they received significant financial support from extremist individuals in some Middle Eastern countries. This funding was not provided by particular organisations, but was provided secretly through contacts between individuals.

5. Interrogations have revealed that the attacks in Maungdaw were carried out by the Aqa Mul Mujahidin organisation which is active in Maungdaw, and which is linked to the RSO armed organisation. The leader of this organisation is Havistoohar, a religious and social extremist aged around 45 years old, of Kyaukpyinseik village in Maungdaw Township. He previously attended a six-month Taliban training course in Pakistan, and he has 4 sisters and 1 brother living in Saudi Arabia. Assuming the identity of a refugee, he frequently went to stay in a village near Teknaf in Bangladesh, from where he received funding from organisations based in the Middle East. Among those he worked with were: a Pakistani citizen called Kalis who came to NgaKuRa village after living in Bangladesh; Ibrahim, Aza, and Ayatullah who lived in Kutabaloun refugee camp in Bangladesh; and 12 men living in Nila refugee camp including individuals called Zubaid and Islam. Kalis previously attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, and he speaks Myanmar, Bengali, Arakan, Malay and Pakistani languages fluently. Around five months ago, through the arrangement of Havistoohar, Kalis came to Maungdaw and began delivering armed training classes to local extremist youths recruited and mobilised by Havistoohar.

6. The four main instigators in Middle NgaKuRa village, called Abdul Rahman, Munet, Kapiktulah and Akis, had all attended an RSO training course. Havistoohar, Kalis, Mabuya of Maungnama Village (who led the attack on Kyikanpyin), together with 12 attackers who had come from a refugee camp in Bangladesh, had carried out robberies in the villages of Pha Wut Chaung, Ale Than Kyaw and Nga Chaung in Maungdaw Township.

7. According to the findings of the interrogations, Havistoohar and his organisation mobilised extremist youths in the Maungdaw area. They secretly ran weapons training and self-defence training in remote locations in the hills and forests, as well as in the compound of Abdul Rahman in the Middle Nga Ku Ra village, and in the forest near Kyauk Pyin Seik village. Following this, plans were drawn up to carry out violent attacks.

8. Havistoohar had planned for a total of around 400 attackers to simultaneously launch attacks on 6 separate locations: Mabuya would lead around 100 attackers against Kyikanpyin Border Guard Police (Number One) Headquarters; Kalis and Abdul Rahman would lead around 100 attackers against Ngakhuya Police Local Office; Wadif would lead around 50 attackers against Kyain Chaung Local Police Office; Aza would lead around 50 attackers against Kyauk Hlay Kar Local Police Office; Raw Paing would lead around 50 attackers against Ywet Nyo Taung Local Police Office; and Abu Kumar would lead around 12 attackers against Kotankauk Police Outpost. However, on 9th October they were only able to attack three locations: Kyikanpyin, Kotankauk, and Ngakhuya. Havistoohar had instructed that after attacking the bases, the attackers should murder the members of the police, take their weapons and equipment, and use those weapons in further attacks on nearby Tatmadaw and police bases. Before the attacks took place, the organisation leaders systematically explained to the attackers the plan of attack.

9. The Aqa Mul Mujahidin organisation deployed tactics often used in violent armed attacks around the world: receiving foreign funding (from those originally from Maungdaw but now in the Middle East); attending terrorist training courses (delivered by the Taliban in Pakistan, and RSO in Bangladesh); and using religion to mobilise extremist youth in Maungdaw. According to their plan, they intended to take over the majority-Muslim areas of Buthitaung and Maungdaw, and to spread propaganda through disseminating video files on the internet and via social networks, in line with the methods of terrorist organisations such as the Taleban, Al Qaeda and ISIS, in order to attract greater foreign support and funding and encourage the cooperation and participation of domestic and foreign religious extremists.

10. At present, the small armed organisation led by Havistoohar is still attempting to carry out continued attacks in the Maungdaw area with a strength of almost 400 extremist armed attackers. Members of the Myanmar Police Force are taking responsibility for security and rule of law, and Tatmadaw military columns have responsibility for clearance operations. The police and the Tatmadaw are carrying out these responsibilities at full strength. In doing so, they are frequently coming into armed contact with the attackers. At the same time, investigations are continuing into domestic and foreign terrorist links and supporters of terrorism. Further news will continue to be released as it is received, so as to keep the general public informed.

11. The attacks in Maungdaw were systematically planned and prepared over a long period of time with the support and assistance of foreign terrorist organisations and supporters of terrorism. These attacks were an attempt to attack and destroy the security of the nation, and the lives, property and security of the citizens of the country. We will take effective action to defend against, respond to and defeat all armed violent attacks and attempted attacks, in accordance with the Constitution, the anti-terrorism law, and other existing laws relating to security and defence. Not only the attacks in Maungdaw, but all violent attacks or attempted attacks will be responded to effectively, and defeated. We will continue to investigate and identify those controlling and organising the armed attacks from behind the scenes, those who are secretly providing funding, and all organisations and individuals that support armed attacks, and we will take effective action against them. Furthermore, we will take strong action in line with the law against those who try to take advantage of these attacks by instigating or attempting to instigate religious or social conflicts and unrest between communities.

12. We call on our citizens to understand the actions of the government, and to be aware and pay attention to the danger of violent attacks. We call on our citizens to work together with responsible persons to prevent instigation on religious or social grounds within your communities, and to prevent the spread of conflict to other areas. We ask religious and community leaders to make every effort to work together to help to prevent the emergence of conflicts. And we ask our citizens to cooperate with the government for the sake of national security and the defence of the Union.

Joint Statement between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the United States of America

At the invitation of President Barack Obama, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is on an official visit to Washington, D.C. in September 2016. During the visit, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Obama held a meeting on September 14 in the White House and adopted this joint statement.

Both leaders remarked on the tremendous change in Myanmar over the past five years, during which time Myanmar moved from a military government through a period of opening, held free and fair elections in November 2015, and inaugurated a new, democratically elected government in March 2016. State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi expressed her appreciation for the role played by the United States and other members of the international community in encouraging and supporting this transformation, and President Obama affirmed continued U.S. support for Myanmar's democratic transition. Both leaders noted that Myanmar's transition has allowed for a dramatic change in the bilateral relationship, creating opportunities to build a robust, multi-faceted partnership for the mutual benefit of both countries.
The State Counsellor reiterated to the President her commitment to furthering Myanmar's democratic transition by pursuing peace, national reconciliation, and inclusive growth. She expressed her belief that the 21st Century Panglong process, inaugurated on August, 31, 2016, would lead to a lasting peace with armed ethnic groups and help the people of Myanmar build an inclusive Union that embraced the country's rich diversity. She stressed her government’s commitment to the resolution of the complex political, economic, and humanitarian challenges in Rakhine State and the development of the state's economic potential. Noting that peace, national reconciliation, and inclusive economic growth were mutually reinforcing, the State Counsellor described the range of economic policies the Government of Myanmar was pursuing to develop its economy. She stressed that Myanmar welcomes international investment to help promote strong, inclusive, and long-term economic growth and asked that the United States lift remaining sanctions on Myanmar to encourage this investment and in recognition of the steps Myanmar has taken toward democratization.

The President told the State Counsellor that the primary focus of U.S. policy toward Myanmar was to help Myanmar succeed. He reiterated that the United States would continue its strong support, both diplomatically and through assistance programs, for the priorities expressed by the State Counsellor. He welcomed the Myanmar government's initiatives to address the longstanding concerns of all communities in Rakhine State, including the establishment of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State chaired by Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations. The President expressed his hope that all parties to civil conflict in Myanmar would seize the opportunity offered by the 21st Century Panglong process to seek peace and build the foundations for a democratic, federal Union through dialogue. The President affirmed the importance of the role of civil society in the pursuit of Myanmar’s national development goals and the promotion and protection of human rights and democratic governance. The President expressed his commitment to helping Myanmar achieve inclusive economic growth, both through continued assistance and by changes to U.S. policy designed to encourage responsible investment in Myanmar. Concurring with the State Counsellor on the importance of the rule of law, the President said the United States would continue to support Myanmar's efforts to develop domestic institutions to promote the rule of law and would work closely with Myanmar and other partners in ASEAN to address regional and transnational challenges including nonproliferation and countering the scourge of drugs, terrorism, and extremism.

The President and the State Counsellor committed to mark this new era in the bilateral relationship by announcing a U.S.-Myanmar Partnership. This partnership, anchored by annual dialogues led by the U.S. Department of State and Myanmar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will allow the two countries to broaden and deepen their cooperation across a range of sectors. To further this effort, the President and the State Counsellor committed to collaborate on the following steps:

• Recognizing the progress toward democratic transition that Myanmar has achieved, including through the election of a civilian-led government, and in an effort to support inclusive economic growth, the United States will terminate the National Emergency with respect to Myanmar and will revoke the Executive Order-based framework of the Burma sanctions program.
• The United States will restore Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade benefits to Myanmar in light of progress on a number of fronts, including strengthening protections for internationally recognized worker rights.
• The United States and Myanmar commit to continued cooperation in addressing remaining challenges, such as strengthening the rule of law, promoting respect for human rights, countering trafficking in persons, combatting corruption, and advancing anti-money laundering efforts and counter-narcotics activities.
• The United States and Myanmar recognize their shared interest in enhancing bilateral economic engagement and exchanging views on laws and practices that affect bilateral investment flows and foreign investment, including the elements of a high-standard Bilateral Investment Treaty.
• The United States and Myanmar recognized the important role of small and growing businesses in supporting inclusive economic growth. The United States intends to sign a loan guarantee with five local microfinance institutions to support over $10 million in loans to small businesses in Myanmar, which will increase access to food and support employment opportunities for communities in Myanmar.
• The United States and Myanmar are committed to advancing global health security. In 2017, Myanmar will complete and publish a Joint External Evaluation (JEE) of national capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The United States completed and published a JEE in 2016.
• The United States and Myanmar will expand people-to-people ties including by augmenting English-language instruction with additional training for 1500 English teachers, by expanding U.S. educational advising across Myanmar by 50 percent for students interested in studying in the United States, and by launching a new exchange program for Myanmar leaders that will provide expertise in democratic governance.
• The United States and Myanmar look forward to the arrival of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers, who will train English teachers as well as teach students in middle and high schools.

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Berlin

Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
Thielallee 19, 14195, Berlin
Ph : (+49) 30 206 1570, Fax : (+49) 30 206 15720
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