New Delhi: Resolving to fight the scourge of terrorism and insurgent activities, India and Myanmar on Thursday 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 Indian Army carried out a counter- insurgency strike along the Indo-Myanmar border, the Joint Consultative Commission of the two countries delved extensively on having better coordination and cooperation between their security forces to deal with militant groups, particularly those from the northeast region.
Co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Myanmarese counterpart Wunna Maung Lwin, the JCC reviewed 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.
In the meeting, Swaraj reaffirmed that India's commitment to support the modernisation of 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."
She also expressed India's commitment to cooperate with Myanmar in building a professional and capable Myanmar Navy to safeguard and ensure its maritime security.
"Both ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism and insurgent activity in all its forms and manifestations. They emphasised the need for enhanced cooperation between security forces and border guarding agencies for securing peace, security and stability in the border areas which is crucial for overall development," a joint statement said.
In this context, the two leaders welcomed regular meetings of the bilateral Regional Border Committee which promotes such cooperation and understanding for better border management.
The joint statement said "India and Myanmar had entered a new phase in their bilateral relations where, as a result of Myanmar's political and economic reforms and the rising growth and rapid economic and technological transformation, they had achieved commendable progress in their efforts to further strengthen the friendly ties."