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India and Myanmar to work together against insurgents

New Delhi, January 21 (IANS): India and close neighbour Myanmar Wednesday agreed to work together to thwart armed insurgent groups operating in the northeastern region. This was agreed during talks between Vice President Hamid Ansari and visiting Myanmarese First Vice President Sai Mauk Kham here Wednesday.

Mauk Kham also held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which he conveyed his appreciation of the transformation of India’s ‘Look East’ policy to ‘Act East’. This information was tweeted by external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. Mauk Kham arrived in India Monday on a five-day visit at the head of a high-level delegation. The Myanmarese leader landed in Bodh Gaya in Bihar to offer prayers in the Buddhist holy place.

India has been maintaining high-level contacts with Myanmar, the gateway of its ‘Look East’ policy with land border connect with Southeast Asia. Myanmar is the only Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) country to share a land border with India - with the four northeastern states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Myanmar in August, while Prime Minister Modi was in the country for the ASEAN and East Asia Summit last November during which he also held bilateral talks with the leadership of the strategically important neighbour. Bilateral trade has grown from $12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.18 billion in 2013-14.

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