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India downplays critical comments by Aung San Suu Kyi

November 16, 2012 17:34 IST

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made public her disappointment over India engaging with the military junta in her country but officials on Friday explained that they did so out of "security concerns".

Admitting that there was a "certain degree of sadness" reflected by Suu Kyi, top officials said, "We could not have put on standstill the kind of cooperation we have got from the government of Myanmar as far as our security concerns are concerned. And that is something, in national interest, we have to take into account."

They also said that there was no question of "intervening in the internal affairs of any country and in those circumstances that was the best thing we could have done."

The pro-democracy leader also conveyed to the Indian leadership not to jump to an "optimistic conclusion" on the transition of her country towards democracy.

"She was very open and candid as you are amongst friends. What she brought to our notice is that one should not jump to optimistic conclusions because it is a very difficult path," they said.

At the same time, she gave a clear message that India should engage with her country and the government.

"During her visit, we found the right working balance," the officials said.

They also noted that the Myanmarese leader talked about a pragmatic approach, reflecting her understanding of international affairs and the compulsions the countries work with.

Indian officials also condemned the violence involving Rohingya Muslims, a minority community in Myanmar's Rakhini district.

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