Myanmar assures India it won't let rebels use its territory



New Delhi: Myanmar Tuesday assured India that it won't let its territory to be used by insurgent groups and offered itself as a "bridge" between New Delhi and Southeast Asia.

In his meeting with President U Thein Sein in Nay Pyi Taw, Defence Minister A K Antony said as neighbours sharing both land and maritime borders, "the two sides should work together to address common concerns".

In a release, the Defence Ministry said, "The Myanmar President assured that Myanmar will not allow its territory to be used by anti-India insurgent groups."

In the past, rebels from the northeastern states tried to seek refuge in border areas inside Myanmar whenever under pressure from security forces here.

Strengthening mechanisms for joint border patrolling between India and Myanmar to curb activities of insurgent groups was high on the agenda of Antony who was on a two-day visit to the neighbouring country.

Antony also discussed issues relating to border management, armed forces interactions and other defence and security matters of interest to both countries.

He also conveyed the importance placed by India on enhancing bilateral ties in all fields, including defence and noted that the "recent exchanges of visits between both countries at political and other levels had imparted a new momentum to the bilateral relationship".

Antony said the visit of all three Service Chiefs of India to Myanmar in the last 18 months reflected the desire of the Indian government to strengthen ties.

"These visits and other exchanges in the recent times had provided each side a better understanding of mutual concerns, needs and strengths," he told the President of Myanmar.

PTI