Amid rising international pressure on Myanmar’s junta, India said Tuesday it would play an active role in helping the country to move toward democracy. But New Delhi also stressed its ties with its eastern neighbor and said any initiative should be mindful of the need for “a peaceful and stable Myanmar.”
“As a close and friendly neighbor, India has multi-dimensional linkages with Myanmar,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said in New Delhi Tuesday.
“Consequently, initiatives should be mindful of the need for a peaceful and stable Myanmar. India will continue to play a constructive and positive role, along with like-minded countries, to this end.”
India has attracted criticism for failing to condemn the recent crackdown on democracy protests in Myanmar. This week, U.N. Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari visited New Delhi as part of a six-nation tour to urge governments to put pressure on Myanmar’s junta to allow a democratic opening.
Gambari met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, and they spoke of their support for the U.N. role and a process of inclusive national reform in Myanmar.
Gambari told reporters, "I am encouraged by the undertaking they have given to...use their influence to encourage the authorities in Myanmar to continue their cooperation and deliver tangible results."