Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Indian Defense Minister arrives in Burma for border talks

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 11:50 Mizzima News

India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony is visiting Burma on January 21-22 to meet his Burmese counterparts and discuss bilateral defense cooperation and “capacity-building” measures for Burma’s armed forces, according to Indian media.

A tribal Konyak Naga pictured in 2011 in the village of Lungwa, which runs through the India-Burma border in the northeastern Indian state of Nagaland. (Photo: AFP)

“Myanmar's [Burma’s] importance for India can be gauged from the fact that Antony's visit comes shortly after foreign minister Salman Khurshid and Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, in his capacity as the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee, visited the country in November-December,” wrote The Times of India.

Accompanied by army and naval officers, the Indian defense minister will also table a discussion on improving patrols along the two countries’ 1,000-mile land border, as well as patrols of their maritime boundaries, an official was quoted as saying.

According to Frontier India News Network, the border security talks will aim “to curb activities of insurgent groups and other illegal and criminal activities in these areas.”

Burma has previously given assurances to India that it would purge anti-Indian government insurgent groups camped on the Burmese side of the remote border region.

Also on January 21, Burma’s Vice-President Sai Mauk Kham received the Indian Ambassador Villur Sundararajan Seshadri in Naypyitaw where the pair focused their talks on Indian technical assistance to Burma in the agriculture and livestock breeding sectors, poverty alleviation tasks, and rail transportation, energy and power supply issues, the Burmese President’s office website said.

The Burmese Vice-President was accompanied by, among others, Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen Zaw Win.
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