India, Myanmar forces should work closely: Envoy Vikram Misri


Indian ambassador Vikram Misri. Photo: Mizzima

Indian ambassador Vikram Misri on Friday pitched for 'very close cooperation' between security forces of India and Myanmar to meet emerging threats in the region.

"Our security forces must work closely to deny any space to extremist groups who threaten our nations," Misri said at the opening of the conference on  "India-Myanmar relations: Way Forward". 

The two-day conference is jointly organised by Calcutta-based think tank ISCS, and Myanmar think tank MISIS.

Misri said India is ready to help Myanmar in “all possible ways" in areas of peace-making, national reconciliation and economic development.

"It is very important for Myanmar to make a success of its peace processes and in that, there are a few lessons India has to offer, because we resolved quite a few of our ethnic insurgencies, especially in the Northeast which borders on Myanmar," Misri said.

He recalled the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Myanmar this year in taking forward bilateral relations.

Later, addressing the inaugural session, the chief minister of India's Manipur state N Biren Singh pitched for closer relations with Myanmar.

"In my state, they say we will be prosperous if our eastern gates open. The eastern gates of Manipur can only open to India," Biren Singh, who belongs to Modi's BJP party, said.

He detailed the considerable resources base of Northeast India and the neighbouring regions of Myanmar.

"But these resources can only be utilised if our road infrastructure is developed and market centres are set up in important places on Myanmar-India border," the chief minister said.

"Barter trade on our border has been abolished, but we need a boost to border trade, for which the Moreh-Tamu corridor can be utilised. However, the infrastructure there should be modernised, and a new township created near Moreh," Mr Biren Singh said.

For boosting bilateral trade, he suggested setting up quality testing labs and banking infrastructure on the border and visa on arrival facilities for traders and medical patients.

Biren Singh asked for easing regulations to facilitate cross-border investments between border regions of India and Myanmar.

"Manipur is the sports capital of India, and we should have more sports exchanges. Especially our Manipur-dominated Indian women football team and Myanmar women football team should play each other," the chief minister said.

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