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India, Burma sign MOUs for stronger

India, Burma sign MoUs for stronger relations

>From Asian Age newspaper, dated September 1, 2000

By Our Correspondent
New Delhi, Aug. 31

The seventh national level meeting between India and Burma
under the umbrella of the memorandum of understanding
signed by the two countries in 1994 concluded in Rangoon
with the signing of the agreed minutes between the two
countries on Wednesday.

The agreed minutes were signed by Union home secretary
Kamal Pande and Brig. Gen. Thura Myint Maung for their
respective countries. According to a home ministry
spokesperson, the two sides reviewed the progress
achieved in implementation of measures for ensuring
security along the India-Burma border and pledged to
further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

They also welcomed the completion by the end of the this
year of Tumu-Kalewa highway project which will
significantly improve cross-border transport and communication between
the two countries.

The highway, which is being built with Indian assistance,
links India-Burma border in Manipur with Kalewa on the
Chindwin river in Burma. Kalewa is an important point on
the route from the India-Burma border to Mandalay, Burma?s
second largest city after Rangoon. The Indian team also
paid a brief visit to Bagon to view the cultural and
artistic heritage of Burma.

The mechanism of national-level meetings, on an annual
basis, was initiated in 1994 between the ministries of home
affairs of the two neighbouring countries. These meetings
are held in India and Burma respectively. The last meeting
had been held in New Delhi in August 1999. The MoU had
been signed for maintaining peace and tranquillity along
the Indo-Burma border.

The aim of these meetings is to cement economic, trade
and cultural relations between two neighbouring countries.
The prime issue in the agenda this time was discussion on
effective curbing of all illegal and negative activities,
such as trans-border movement of insurgents and other nefarious
activities. Another important to be discussed was the MoU
on border crossing between the two countries.

In addition to this, issues like prevention of drug
trafficking and smuggling were to be taken up, besides strengthening
of infrastructure and security to facilitate border trade
between India and Burma.