Burmese Military Delegation Continues European Goodwill Visit

By The Irrawaddy 24 April 2017

A delegation led by Burma military chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing arrived in Austria on Sunday to meet with the Chief of Defense Staff of Austrian Armed Forces as part of the delegation’s European trip to Germany at the invitation of Chief of Defense of the German Armed Forces General Volker Weiker.

The delegation, including the senior general’s wife Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, Chief of the General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Mya Tun Oo and senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Army), left Burma on Saturday. The Burmese military stated that the purpose of this trip was a goodwill visit.

For Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the trip is his second visit to Europe. He went to Belgium in 2016 to attend the European Union Military Committee, where he stated that Burma Army representation in Parliament was still necessary because of the country’s delicate multi-party democracy.

The Burmese military and Germany have had a good relationship in the past. When ex-dictator Gen Ne Win was in power, he inked a partnership with the Fritz Werner GmbH Company (FWG) that got into full swing in 1960 when the West German Ministry of Defense gave the company permission to produce G3 rifles in Burma and later established its first weapons factory on the outskirts of Rangoon with the assistance of the West Germany arms company Heckler & Koch.