India on Friday received an assurance that “Myanmar will not be a safe haven for the [anti-India] insurgents to operate from.” This was conveyed by Prime Minister Thein Sein to External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna in Nay Pyi Taw.
Mr. Krishna, who called on Gen. Thein Sein after a regional ministerial meeting, later told The Hindu over telephone that “security-related issues have assumed a special significance in India-Myanmar engagement in view of the cross-border insurgency.”
India was “worried” that the insurgents in its northeast “are getting sustenance from [elements in] Myanmar.” So, India sought “cooperation of the Myanmar government, as they have always given to us.” The objective, Mr. Krishna said, was to send out a strong political message to the insurgents.
Gen. Thein Sein held out an assurance that Myanmar would certainly keep in mind New Delhi’s concerns about insurgents and its larger concerns of anti-India terrorism as well. India’s Army Chief had discussed these issues with his Myanmar counterparts a few months ago.
Myanmar-India cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector was another key topic in the talks between Mr. Krishna and Gen. Thein Sein. India’s Ambassador Aloke Sen was present.
Earlier in the day, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for MultiSectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Ministers signed a new Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Trans-National Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. At the meeting, India formally handed over the rotational BIMSTEC Chair to Myanmar.
Mr. Krishna, who held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama on the sidelines of the meeting, later said the issue of resettlement of displaced civilians in the island nation was discussed. The Sri Lankan Minister assured India that efforts were on to “hasten the process.”
On India-China ties, Mr. Krishna said: “We have a cordial relationship. We would like to see that it continues [to be so] and that it gets further strengthened.”
Asked about India’s stand at the Copenhagen climate conference, he said, “We would like to be part of the solution and we would not like to create impediments.”