PM Modi Discusses Cross Border Terror With Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi

The two leaders agreed that a stable and peaceful border was an important anchor for the continued expansion of bilateral partnership between the two countries.

PM Modi Discusses Cross Border Terror With Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi

PM Modi, Aung San Suu Kyi met at the ASEAN summit in Bangkok


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed to Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi about the importance India attaches to her country's cooperation in ensuring that insurgent groups do not find any space to operate across the India-Myanmar border.

Prime Minister Modi also conveyed India's readiness to expand its socio-economic projects in Myanmar's Rakhine state to Aung San Soo Kyi, months after New Delhi implemented a housing project in the restive province.

PM Modi made the proposal during a meeting with her on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit on Sunday.

The two leaders also agreed that a stable and peaceful border was an important anchor for the continued expansion of bilateral partnership and PM Modi emphasised the value India attaches to Myanmar's cooperation in ensuring that insurgent groups do not find space to operate across the India-Myanmar border.

Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states including the militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

According to security agencies, there were over 50 camps of insurgent groups from the north-east in Myanmar till last year. 

The armies of India and Myanmar carried out a three-week-long coordinated operation from May 16 in their respective border areas, targeting several terrorist groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.

Defence sources said that during the "Operation Sunrise 2" in May, the armies coordinated with each other to bust camps of terror outfits, including the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the NSCN (Khaplang), the United Liberation Front of Assam (I) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out an operation against NSCN(K) terrorists in areas near the Indo-Myanmar border, days after they killed 18 Indian army men in Manipur.

In the talks, PM Modi also emphasised that the speedy, safe and sustainable return of the displaced people from Bangladesh to their homes in the Rakhine State was in the interest of the region, the displaced persons, and all three neighbouring countries -- India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

An estimated 7,00,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine State since 2017 after large-scale violence followed a military crackdown. 

The exodus of refugees in large numbers has resulted in a major crisis in neighbouring Bangladesh.

In July, India handed over 250 prefabricated houses it had built in the Rakhine State in an effort to encourage the Rohingya Muslims to return to their homeland to the Myanmar government.

The MEA said the prime minister expressed India's readiness to carry out more socio-economic projects in the Rakhine State.

According to the MEA, Aung San Suu Kyi reaffirmed the importance her government attaches to the partnership with India, and her appreciation of India's consistent and sustained support for the widening of democracy and development in Myanmar.

In the deliberations, PM Modi emphasised the priority India attaches to Myanmar as a partner at the crossroads of India's Look East Policy and the neighbourhood first policies.

"Towards this end, he emphasised India's continuing commitment to improve physical connectivity to and through Myanmar to Southeast Asia, including through building road, port and other infrastructure," the MEA statement said.

"India would also continue to strongly support the expansion of capacity for Myanmar's police, military and civil servants, as well as its students and citizens," it added.

The two leaders also agreed that people to people connectivity would help expand the base of the partnership, and therefore welcomed the expansion of air connectivity between the two countries, and the growing interest of India's businesses in Myanmar, including India's plans to host a business event for the CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) in Yangon next month.

PM Modi arrived in Bangkok on a three-day visit on Saturday to attend ASEAN-India, the East Asia and the RCEP summits.

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