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Myanmar assures not to use its territory for insurgent activities against India: MEA

New Delhi , Thu, 13 Oct 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Oct 13 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said New Delhi has received assurances from Myanmar that its territory will not be allowed to be used for insurgent activities against India.


"With respect to security we have ongoing cooperation with Myanmar. We have also received assurances that Myanmar territory will not be allowed to be used for insurgent activities against India. Both sides remained in close and regular contact in this regard," said MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash, while briefing media persons on the state visit to India of the President of Myanmar Thein Sein.


Myanmar President U Thein Sein arrived in Bodh Gaya on Wednesday on a State visit to India.


The visiting President assumed office on March 30 this year after general elections and this is the first high-level visit from Myanmar to India, of the new civilian government.


"The President is accompanied by his spouse and is leading a high-level delegation that includes a number of his Cabinet colleagues such as the Minister for Border Affairs and Myanmar's Industrial Development, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation, the Minister for Religious Affairs, the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Electric Power, the Minister of National Planning and Economic Development as well as the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, the Union Minister for Transport, the Union Minister for Energy, the Minister of Science and Technology, the Union Minister of Commerce, the Chief of General Staff in the Ministry of Defence, the Deputy Minister of Health, a number of senior officials, and other members of the delegation," said Vishnu Prakash.


"He arrived yesterday at Gaya and is presently undertaking a pilgrimage of the holy Buddhist sites at Gaya, Khushinagar and Sarnath. He will be arriving later in the evening at New Delhi," he added.


There will be a ceremonial reception and welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow in honour of the visiting Myanmar President.


"Tomorrow there will be a ceremonial reception and welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan. There will be a call on him by the External Affairs Minister followed by delegation-level talks at noon with the Prime Minister of India, signing of some agreements. He would be paying a visit to Akshardham Temple. In the evening he meets the President who also hosts a banquet in the honour of the visiting dignitary," said Vishnu Prakash.


He said the visiting President would also be visiting the Indian Agricultural Research Institute on Saturday before emplaning for Myanmar, as agriculture is an important area of cooperation between the two countries


Vishnu Prakash further said this is the third visit of Myanmar President U Thein Sein to India.


"This is his third visit to India. He first visited India in 2004 during the state visit of Sr. General Than Shwe as Secretary-1 as he was called then. He next visited in November 2008 as the Prime Minister of Myanmar to participate in the BIMSTEC Summit in New Delhi," he said.


Vishnu Prakash said India and Myanmar have enjoyed a longstanding relationship underpinned by ethnic, cultural and linguistic proximities, affinities.


"A large section of the Myanmar population is Buddhist and naturally sees India as their spiritual home. By various counts, something like a million people in Myanmar are of Indian origin," said Vishnu Prakash.


"Four of India's Northeastern States - Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram - share a land border with Myanmar, which is more than 1600 kilometres. In fact, Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian State with which we have a land boundary, and as such it is a bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia, and also a gateway to the ASEAN region. Naturally connectivity through Myanmar can play a valuable role in spurring economic development in our northeastern region," he added.


Stating that Myanmar is also an integral part in our Look East Policy, Vishnu Prakash said: "India and Myanmar are members of a number of regional fora including BIMSTEC, the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Plus Six, as well as other international fora. In 2008, Myanmar became an Observer at the SAARC."


" Our relations with Myanmar encompass a number of important areas like security, trade and investments, energy, capacity-building, health and education, science and technology, as well as infrastructure development," he added.


The MEA spokesperson further said India attaches the highest importance to the state visit of the President of Myanmar and is confident that this would place the relationship on an even stronger footing. (ANI)


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