Bangladesh-Myanmar Relations: The Need for Robust Bilateral Engagement

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Myanmar/Burma is a Bangladesh’s closest neighbor. Both the nations have historically remained engaged in economic and social terms for centuries. After Bangladesh’s independence in 1971, Myanmar was one of the early countries to recognize it as a sovereign nation. The two countries’ diplomatic relations were formalized on March 21, 1972, and have been cordial ever since, with high-level visits from both sides. These visits continued frequently until Myanmar’s military government, led by President Thein Sein, transitioned to a quasi-military government in 2011. Despite various opportunities to increase mutual cooperation in areas such as trade and tourism and non-traditional security, bilateral relations between the two countries have yet to reach their full potential — and the Rohingya issue is a major cause behind this. Bangladesh-Myanmar ties are >>> CBGA Policy Brief-3