External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, at a weekly press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday, expressed concern over fighting between the Myanmar army and anti-junta groups near the India-Myanmar border and urged to resolve the situation through constructive dialogue.
“We are very concerned by such incidents close to our border. Our position is very clear on the ongoing situation in Myanmar. We want an end to the violence and a resolution of the situation through restoration of status quo or constructive dialogue. We want a withdrawal We reiterate our call for peace, stability and democracy in Myanmar,” Bagchi said.
Fresh air strikes by the Myanmar Army in border areas along the India-Myanmar border have forced around 5,000 people to enter Mizoram’s Champhai district as refugees, news agency ANI reported.
About 160 families from Myanmar now live in Lipui in the Zokhawthar region.
During the briefing, Bagchi also talked about the consular assistance provided to an Indian citizen on death row in Yemen and the rejection of his mercy petition by the apex court in Sanaa.
“On the issue of Indian nationals in Yemen, we are certainly keeping an eye on the matter, and we are aware of the recent developments that you mentioned. We are providing consular assistance. But since it is a legal issue there …I would not like to comment on those steps. But of course, we are in touch,” he said.
“We are providing whatever consular assistance we can. But understand that this is a legal process in their country as well. And we will see how we can keep the process going,” Bagchi said.
The India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was another issue touched upon by the MEA spokesperson.
He said the FTA was discussed during External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar’s recent visit to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Bagchi said, “The External Affairs Minister discussed the FTA with the UK PM and the newly-sworn-in Foreign Secretary. Discussions are ongoing. But if you want to know the exact status of the talks, I refer you to the trade negotiators. I will send.”
He further said, “Both India and Britain are engaged on this important issue of whether we can find a solution or reach a final stage.”