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Mizzima: Burma, India foreign offic

Burma, India foreign office consultancy meeting held in New Delhi

New Delhi, October 19, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

As part of regularizing the bilateral relationship and promoting
cooperation in common interests, Deputy Foreign Minister of Burma U Khin
Maung Win and Foreign Secretary of India Mr. Lalit Mansingh met in New
Delhi yesterday to discuss a number of issues including cross-border
security, border trade and cooperation in energy, science and
technology. The two sides agreed to step up cooperation in curbing
insurgency activities on the borders and boosting the border trade,
which has been operationalized since April 1995. Burmese deputy foreign
minister U Khin Maung Win will meet India?s Foreign Minister Mr. Jaswant
Singh and other high level Indian officials today.

Burma and India, which share about 1,643 kilometer (1,018 mile)-long
land border, are cooperating currently in many fields including
countering insurgency of the two sides in the border, checking narcotics
smuggling across the border, sharing of intelligence, trade and
investments. The two countries have had seven annual national level
meetings between high officials of Home Ministries since 1994 with the
last meeting held in Rangoon in August this year, where Mr. Kamal Pande,
Home Secretary of India led the Indian delegation and Deputy Minister of
Home Affairs Brig. Gen. Thura Myint Maung led the Burmese delegation.

The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in January 1994
to regularize and promote informal trade across the border. India is
currently building a 115 km-long Tamu-Kale-Kalewa road inside Burma,
which is to be completed by the end of this year.

The border trade is currently mainly conducted through Tamu-Moreh route
(Tamu in Sagaing Division of Burma and Moreh in Manipur) and another
trade route Rid-Zokhutha (Chin State of Burma and Mizoram State of
India) is to be operationalized soon. Moreover, the two countries are
looking at ways to jointly explore gas in the Arakan region of Burma,
which can be piped to India along a corridor through Bangladesh. India
is also planning to import a large quantity of rice from Burma through
Moreh in Manipur State.