NEW DELHI, July 16 - Resolving to fight the scourge of terrorism and insurgent activities, India and Myanmar today decided to broadbase their defence and security cooperation to ensure peace along the 1,640-km-long border as New Delhi expressed strong commitment to modernise the Myanmarese Armed Forces.
Over a month after the Indian Army carried out a counter-insurgency strike along the Indo-Myanmar border, the Joint Consultative Commission of the two countries dwelt extensively on having better coordination and cooperation between their security forces to deal with militant groups, particularly those from the north-eastern region.
Co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Myanmarese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin, the JCC reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral ties and also agreed to step up cooperation in border management and in sectors like petroleum, trade and commerce.
Both leaders reiterated that territories of either country would not be allowed to be used for activities inimical to the other. Myanmar, considered one of India�s strategic neighbours, shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.
Pitching for closer cooperation in energy sector, the two leaders decided to encourage investment by Indian companies in Myanmar oil and gas sector, including in available blocks that are being offered for investment which have good prospects. They also agreed to encourage investment by Indian companies in the petroleum industry.
At the meeting, Swaraj reaffirmed India�s commitment to support modernisation of the Myanmar Armed Forces and conveyed that it would be �happy to share its experience in functioning in a democratic environment, in creating a national army, cooperation in the field of IT, in dealing with emerging security challenges, and military-to-military cooperation, including in terms of training.�
They reiterated their determination to resolve the issue of unsettled boundary pillars in all sectors. It was agreed that the first meeting of the India-Myanmar Joint Boundary Working Group, with a mandate to address all outstanding boundary issues would be held in New Delhi at the earliest.
The two ministers agreed that a joint visit at a senior official level would be arranged to the India-Myanmar border in Nagaland sector.
The two ministers emphasised the importance of enhancing connectivity and expressed satisfaction at the steady progress being made on the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project connecting Mizoram to Sittwe port in Myanmar.
They also reviewed the upgrading of the Kalewa-Yargi road section of the Trilateral Highway connecting Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand through Myanmar as well as construction of 69 bridges and approach roads on the Tamu-Kalewa section.
The ministers agreed to take steps to further enhance the existing air connectivity by encouraging regular commercial fights among India, Myanmar and the rest of South East Asia. � PTI