NEW DELHI, Jan 24 � In a significant strategic shift in policy following China�s growing influence in the neighbouring country, India on Tuesday sought deeper bilateral ties in strategic areas with Myanmar.
New Delhi�s security interests are �intertwined� with that of Nay Pyi Taw, said External Affairs Minister S M Krishna welcoming Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin here this afternoon.
�We have traditional and civilisational relationship with Myanmar. Our trade links have been very ancient and our security interest is intertwined with Myanmar,� Krishna said.
China�s growing closeness with Myanmar and deeper involvement has alarmed New Delhi. India has lined up several strategic projects in Myanmar including the tri-nation highway project connecting India-Myanmar-Thailand. Myanmar is considered a gateway to South East Asian countries and crucial part of the flagship Look East Policy.
Krishna�s remarks today came within days of the �17th National Level Meeting to Strengthen Border Issues� between the two countries concluded at Nay Pyi Taw last week.
On his part, Lwin acknowledged that the two countries have a very historic and long tradition of bilateral relations between the two countries.�I look forward to future bilateral discussions about the strengthening and enhancing the existing bilateral relations in the field of political, security, social and economic development of the two countries,� he said.
The visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, Wunna Maung Lwin, called on the Prime Minister today. Later, delegation level talks were held between the External Affairs Minister and the Foreign Minister of Myanmar.
The two sides positively assessed the development in bilateral relations after the landmark State visit of the President of Myanmar to India in October last year. Both sides discussed measures to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation, including in the areas of trade and commerce, security, agriculture, health, culture, science and technology, human resource development and capacity building.
The Indian side reiterated its continued support for infrastructure development and cooperation projects for the benefit of the people of Myanmar. The two Foreign Ministers underlined the significance of such projects which could improve connectivity between India and the other countries of South East Asia through Myanmar.
Meanwhile, India has requested Myanmar to immediately mount a crackdown on the Manipur insurgents operating out of the country during the election in Manipur.
Official sources said that Home Secretary, RK Singh especially requested Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Myanmar, Brig Gen Kyaw Zan Myint to crack the whip as Indian insurgent groups are planning large scale disturbances in the forthcoming elections in 2012 in Manipur. The leader of Myanmar delegation assured that Myanmar would never allow insurgents to use its territory to engage in any hostile activities against its neighbour India.