Visit of Burmese President to Bangladesh Postponed

Dhaka: The scheduled visit of Burmese President Thein Sein to Bangladesh has been postponed due to sectarian violence in northern Arakan State, the Burmese delegation reported during foreign secretary-level talks held in Dhaka yesterday.

President Thein Sein had planned to visit Dhaka from 15 to 17 July but the dates have been postponed. He is now expected to visit Bangladesh at a later date after Ramadan, but no date has been set yet.

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said they are now working on a new date for the visit of the Burmese president.

A two-day long foreign secretary-level talk between Burma and Bangladesh started yesterday with a six-member Burmese team led by the deputy foreign minister of Burma, U Maung Myint. Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes is representing his country with a nine-member delegation.

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said the Burmese side on Saturday had formally requested the Bangladesh delegation reschedule the date of President Thein Sein’s visit to a time after Ramadan, as he himself is monitoring the situation of sectarian violence in northern Arakan State.

Another important meeting between the chiefs of the border forces of Bangladesh and Burma has also been deferred as the Nasaka chief remains occupied by the situation in Arakan State, where a state of emergency has been declared following the conflict.

The scheduled meeting is from 22 July to 26 in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

A fresh date for the meeting will be announced later on, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Quayes said.

The foreign secretary-level talks will be held for the second day to day, with the delegations to discuss many bilateral issues, including energy, agriculture, education, trade, tourism, and establishment of direct road and air links between the two neighboring countries.