The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Myanmar's State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, discussed repatriation of over 680,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.
The two leaders held discussions on agreement inked by Dhaka and Nay Pyi Daw to start repatriation of the Rohingyas, who had escaped from a fierce ethnic conflict in Rakhine State of Myanmar and took refuge in Bangladesh last year.
Though Myanmar and Bangladesh had earlier agreed to start the repatriation on Tuesday, the process could not commence. Myanmar blamed Bangladesh for the delay. The United Nations had asked Suu Kyi's Government to give international aid agencies unhindered access to the camps being built for the Rohingyas, who would return from Bangladesh to Myanmar.
Sources said that the Prime Minister and the de-facto ruler of Myanmar had discussed implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding New Delhi and Nay Pyi Daw had signed last year for development projects in conflict-hit Rakhine State.
The projects India planned to support in the conflict-hit province of Myanmar included one to build pre-fabricated houses for the Rohingyas, who might return from refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The minority Rohingyas have since been victims of persecution in the Rakhine State, where Buddhists constitute the majority. They have been denied citizenship and most of them have been stateless, despite living for generations in Myanmar.
Myanmar's armed forces launched the latest military crackdown against the Rohingyas on August 25 after a militant outfit killed 12 security personnel in Rakhine. With hundreds of them killed and villages burnt down, over 630,000 Rohingyas, including children had to flee Myanmar and take refuge in Bangladesh over the past few months. Not only the US Government, but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees too termed the violence as 'ethnic cleansing'.