Indian President hosts dinner for President U Win Myint and First Lady

President U Win Myint delivers the address at the state banquet hosted by Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the Presidential Palace in India on 27 February.  Photo: MNA
President U Win Myint delivers the address at the state banquet hosted by Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind at the Presidential Palace in India on 27 February.  Photo: MNA

President U Win Myint and First Lady Daw Cho Cho met with President Shri Ram Nath Kovind of India on 27 February evening and attended the state banquet hosted by him.
President U Win Myint and his entourage were warmly welcomed by President Shri Ram Nath Kovind of India on their arrival at the Presidential Palace.
President U Win Myint then met with Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in the North Drawing Room of the Presidential Palace.
The meeting emphasized on strengthening the existing friendly relations and cohesive coordination, continued implementation of bilateral ties in the energy sector, tourism sector and human resources development, and closer cooperation in the international arenas.
Furthermore, the two Presidents cordially exchanged views on the issues pertaining to India’s continued support for Myanmar’s peace-making and reconciliation process, peace, stability and socio-economic development, and acceptance of verified returnees in Rakhine State in accordance with the agreement between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister U Kyaw Tin of the Ministry of International Cooperation, Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture, Union Minister U Thant Sin Maung of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Rakhine State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu, Myanmar Ambassador U Moe Kyaw Aung, and officials among others.
After the meeting, President U Win Myint, First Lady Daw Cho Cho and party attended the state dinner hosted by the Indian President.
The two Presidents first introduced their delegations to each other.
India’s President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and President U Win Myint then delivered their speeches.

Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind said: Your Excellency, President U Win Myint,
First Lady Daw Cho Cho,
Dignitaries from Myanmar and India,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Minglabar!, Namaste and a warm welcome back to India!
I am delighted to receive you Mr. President on your first State Visit to India. It has been a little over a year since my State Visit to your beautiful country in December 2018, and less than a year since you honoured us with your presence at the swearing-in of our new Government last May.
As neighbours connected by land and water, with a long civilizational friendship, it is only natural that we meet as frequently as possible. After all, from language to food, from dress to rituals, ours are sister civilizations: unique in their own right, but also related. The sacred waters of Irrawaddy and Phalgu have long been part of our religious beliefs, our spirituality and our cultural imagination. And so it is a pleasure to host you as family!

Your meetings here would have reassured you that India remains committed to providing its fullest support for the expansion of your democracy and economic development. India stands for a stable, united and prosperous Myanmar, established through a successful peace process.
And since peace is indivisible, the settlement of ethnic conflict in your country helps us ensure peace and tranquility on our shared borders. It is in this context that we are happy to help by sharing our experience with democracy, federalism and constitutionalism with you.

To foster sustainable peace, we must ensure a peace dividend through prosperity. Connectivity between our countries is already expanding, through the building of roads, use of waterways, upgradation of ports and increase of bilateral air services. We need to widen such connectivity to include energy as well.
Another important element of a peace dividend is the provision of capacity. As State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has said, she attaches priority to “people understanding that they have the power to change things themselves”. It is in this spirit that India is invested in capacity-building in Myanmar.

Myanmar has a proverb and I quote – “the islands depend on reeds, and reeds depend on reeds, and reeds depend on islands” unquote. That is to say, our interests are inter-dependent. From such wisdom are mutually-beneficial partnerships created. May your pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya and the divine shade of the Bodhi tree, continue to bless our age-old ties.
On that special note, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
– I wish good health, success and long life for President U Win Myint, and First Lady Daw Cho Cho;
– I wish continued progress and prosperity for the people of Myanmar; and
– I wish everlasting friendship between India-Myanmar.
Thank you. Chezu Din Bare.

President U Win Myint accepts a souvenir from Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in India on 27 February.  Photo: MNA
President U Win Myint accepts a souvenir from Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in India on 27 February.  Photo: MNA

President U Win Myint said: “Your Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind, President of the Republic of India,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Myanmar delegation and on my own behalf, I take great pleasure in expressing our profound thanks and deep appreciation to Your Excellency, the Government and the people of India for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded to us since our arrival at this beautiful and historic city of New Delhi.
Myanmar and India have been enjoying traditional bonds of friendship and close relations underpinned by shared cultural values and strong people-to-people ties for several centuries. Moreover, Buddhism which has its roots in the sacred land of India also binds us together spiritually and culturally and provides the fabric of our unique and special relations with the people of India. Our two countries share a similar historical background and worked together in our long struggle to regain our independence.
It gives me immense pleasure to have this opportunity to pay a State visit to the Republic of India at an important time when our two countries are enjoying excellent relations and closer cooperation which have reached to a new height.
Over the past years, there have been frequent exchanges of high level visits between our two countries. I fondly recall the recent fruitful visits to Myanmar of Your Excellency President Shri Ram Nath Kovind in 2018 and His Excellency Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2017 which broadened the areas of mutually beneficial cooperation and deepen bilateral relations to the mutual benefits of our two peoples.
I am extremely delighted that today, we have had fruitful discussions with both His Excellency President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and His Excellency Prime Minister Modi on a wide range of bilateral relations including promoting trade and investments, development cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, connectivity and cultural and on issues of mutual interests in a friendly and cordial environment.
I am also happy to witness the signing ceremony of Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements between our two countries today. I am convinced that these MOUs and Agreement signed today will significantly contribute to the acceleration and expansion of bilateral cooperation serving the mutual interests of our two countries and peoples. Our government highly values India’s development assistance provided to Myanmar across many spheres of common interest including connectivity, infrastructure, Human Resource Development (HRD) and rural development.
I have every confidence that through our joint endeavours, the existing friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation that happily exist between our two countries will continue to flourish in the coming years. Our joint endeavours are reinforced by India’s “Act East” and “Neighbourhood First Policy” and Myanmar’s “Independent, Active and Non-Aligned Foreign Policy”. In strengthening connectivity between India and ASEAN, Myanmar can play a pivotal role as a gateway to Southeast Asia, thanks to its strategic geographical location.
We are confident that the infrastructure projects such as the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, once completed, will connect the North Western region of Myanmar and North Eastern region of India to bring benefits to the peoples of both the two less developed regions and beyond. We need to reiterate our commitments to work together for speedy completion of those key infrastructure projects.
We believe that there still exists ample room and greater potential for deepening the existing cooperation not only in bilateral context but also under the framework of ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership.
Myanmar is undergoing a delicate democratic transition facing numerous challenges. Understanding each other’s challenges and lending a constructive support is crucial in strengthening bilateral relations. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of India for its continuous support to Myanmar at the regional and international fora. We wish to reaffirm our desire to continue working more closely with India at both regional and multilateral arenas including ASEAN- India strategic partnership, BIMSTEC, Ginga-Mekong cooperation and the United Nations.
I am happy to witness the all-round development of our friendly neighbour, India. In this regard, I wish to congratulate the Government and the people of India for their relentless efforts and for making great strides in nation building task to turn India into an emerging global economic power. We are impressed by the rapid socio-economic development of the country and uplifting of living standards of the Indian people in a short period of time. I sincerely believe that the people of India will continue to achieve greater progress and prosperity under the able stewardship of the Indian leaders.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Myanmar always attach great importance to its relationship with its important neighbour, India and based on our abiding faith in, and commitment to democracy, development and peaceful co-existence, I wish to reiterate our strong commitment to further consolidating and invigorating the traditionally strong and friendly relations between our two countries. Myanmar looks forward to working more closely with India in line with its inclusive development vision of “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwass” (Together with all, for development of all and with trust of all) to the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples in all spheres of common interest.
Before I conclude, allow me to offer my best wishes to Your Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind and Shrimati Kovind for your good health and personal well-being as well as the continued progress and prosperity of India.
Long live Myanmar-India Friendship.
Thank you.”
Afterwards, President U Win Myint and First Lady Daw Cho Cho signed the Presidential Guest Book.
The Indian President gave President U Win Myint a photo album and souvenirs.
President U Win Myint and the First Lady then arrived back at Taj Palace Hotel where they are staying during their State Visit to India. — MNA (Translated by Aungthu Ya)

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