YANGON, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Thein Sein will pay state visit to New Zealand and Australia soon, an official announcement said Sunday without specifying the date of his visit.
At the invitation of Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key and Governor General of Australia Ms. Quentin Bryce, U Thein Sein rescheduled the visits, which are originally planned in December last year.
U Thein Sein's visit to New Zealand comes after John Key set foot on Myanmar in November 2012 for the first time since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in November 1954.
During his visit, Key announced an aid package worth 7 million NZ dollars (5.71 million U.S. dollars) to Myanmar after a meeting with U Thein Sein.
Over the next five years, New Zealand will invest 6 million NZ dollars in building Myanmar's dairy farming capabilities, complement the funding already available for scholarships and the English Language Training for officials program.
U Thein Sein's visit to Australia also comes after the first meeting with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 28 years on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Vientiane in November 2012.
In June 2012, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr visited Myanmar after Australia had lifted its remaining financial and travel sanctions on Myanmar and doubled its annual development aid to 100 million Australian dollars (99 million U.S. dollars) by 2015 in a move to encourage further democratic reform, while keeping arms embargo in place.
U Thein Sein's rearranged trip to the two countries follows his five-nation tour to Europe, namely Norway, Finland, Austria, Belgium and Italy from Feb. 25 to March 8.