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With the northeast in mind, India urges Myanmar’s military to keep the borders calm

Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla inaugurated the India Centre at the erstwhile LIC building in Yangon on Thursday (Image courtesy: Indian Embassy in Myanmar)

Peace and stability in Myanmar remains of utmost importance to India, specifically to the North Eastern Region, India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told the ruling military regime during his ongoing two-day visit to the neighbouring country.

Shringla raised matters relating to India’s security, especially in the light of the recent incident in Churachandpur district in southern Manipur, and stressed the need to put an end to any violence and maintain peace and stability in the border areas.

"Both sides reiterated their commitment to ensure that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other," a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated today.

India shares an approximately 1700 kms long border with Myanmar and any developments in that country have a direct impact on India's bordering regions.

During his visit, the Foreign Secretary called on the Chairman, State Administrative Council and other senior representatives and held meetings with members of civil society and political parties, including the National League for Democracy. He is also scheduled to meet Myanmar-based Ambassadors, and representatives of the UN.

"He emphasised India’s interest in seeing Myanmar’s return to democracy at the earliest; release of detainees and prisoners; resolution of issues through dialogue; and complete cessation of all violence. He reaffirmed India’s strong and consistent support to the ASEAN initiative and expressed hope that progress would be made in a pragmatic and constructive manner, based on the five point consensus," said MEA.  

As part of India’s continued humanitarian support for the people of Myanmar, Shringla not only handed over one million doses of 'Made in India' Covid-19 vaccines to the Myanmar Red Cross Society but also announced a grant of 10,000 tons of rice and wheat to the country.

He expressed India's continued support for people-centric socio-economic developmental projects, including those along the India-Myanmar border areas, as well as India’s commitment for expeditious implementation of ongoing connectivity initiatives such as the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and the Trilateral Highway.

He also reiterated India’s commitment to continue with the projects under Rakhine State Development Programme and Border Area Development Programme for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.

As a democracy and close neighbour, India has been involved in the democratic transition process in Myanmar and in this context has worked with various stakeholders in developing capacities on democratic systems and practises.

"India proposes to renew these efforts for Myanmar to emerge as a stable, democratic, federal union in accordance with the wishes of the people of Myanmar," mentioned the MEA statement.

Also Read: Foreign Secretary to visit Myanmar as India reaches out to military regime for first time