Myanmar, India sign MoU on development cooperation in Rakhine

Myanmar and India have signed an agreement on development cooperation in Rakhine State that includes building prefabricated houses for repatriated refugees, media reports said.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U Soe Aung, and India’s Foreign Secretary, Mr S. Jaishankar, in Nay Pyi Taw on December 20, Indian newspapers reported.

The MoU follows a repatriation agreement signed by Myanmar and Bangladesh on November 23.

India’s ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Vikram Misri, said in a tweet that that the MoU provides for long-term socio-economic development in Rakhine.

“Under the MoU, India proposes to take up, among others, a project to build prefabricated housing in Rakhine State so as to meet the immediate needs of the returning people,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

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The MoU was “intended to help the government of Myanmar achieve its objective of restoration of normalcy in Rakhine State and enable the safe return of displaced people”, said the statement, which did not use the word “Rohingya”.

The signing of the MoU follows the first official visit to Myanmar last September of India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, during which he pledged financial aid to help develop Rakhine.

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