India, Myanmar ink accord on border cooperation
In a significant development, India and Myanmar have inked a pact to enhance security cooperation in combating the key issues of insurgency, arms smuggling and human trafficking.
Nay Pyi Taw/New Delhi: In a significant development, India and Myanmar have inked a pact to enhance security cooperation in combating the key issues of insurgency, arms smuggling and human trafficking. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed here between Myanmar`s Deputy Minister of Defence Major General Kyaw Nyunt and India`s Ambassador to Myanmar Gautam Mukhopadhaya, affirming that measures would be taken to bring peace and stability in the border areas. The pact envisages a framework for security cooperation and exchange of information between Indian and Myanmar security agencies. A key provision of the agreement signed on Thursday is that of conduct of coordinated patrols on their respective sides of the international border and the maritime boundary by the Armed Forces of the two countries. Under the pact, both sides agreed to exchange information in the fight against insurgency, arms smuggling and drug, human and wildlife trafficking. The two sides also agreed to take steps to prevent illegal cross-border activities. The level and frequency of meetings between the Armed Forces, Drug Control Agencies and Wildlife Crime Control agencies have also been specified in the MoU. "It is expected that this MoU will lead to enhanced and tangible cooperation between Indian and Myanmar security agencies in ensuring peace, stability and security along the long international land and maritime border between the two countries," a Ministry of External Affairs statement said. The pact is seen as part of India`s efforts to engage with Myanmar under its Look East policy and to manage the border regions of the northeast given the ground realities. Myanmar is India`s only land bridge to Southeast Asia and their border stretches over 1,600 kilometeres.