Amid crisis in Manipur, Defence Secretary visits Myanmar

Tranquillity in border areas, illegal trans-border movement and crimes make it to the agenda of the two-day visit

July 01, 2023 11:52 pm | Updated 11:52 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane.

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane. | Photo Credit: PTI

Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane paid a two-day official visit to Myanmar, during which according to the Defence Ministry the two sides discussed issues related to “maintenance of tranquillity in the border areas, illegal trans-border movements and transnational crimes such as drug trafficking and smuggling”. The visit comes amid the continuing violence in Manipur.

“The visit provided an opportunity to raise matters relating to India’s security with senior leadership of Myanmar,” a Ministry statement said. “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other.”

Mr. Aramane visited Myanmar on Friday and Saturday (June 30 and July 01), during which he called on Chairman, State Administrative Council Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, in Nay Pyi Taw. He also called on Defence Minister of Myanmar Gen Mya Tun Oo (Retd.) and held meetings with Commander-in-Chief, Myanmar Navy Admiral Moe Aung and Chief of Defence Industries Lt Gen Khan Myint Than.

Noting that India shares an approximately 1,700-km-long border with Myanmar, the Ministry said any development in that country has a direct impact on India’s border regions. “Peace and stability in Myanmar and well-being of its people, therefore, remain of utmost importance to India,” it added.

The Indo-Myanmar Border (IMB) is porous and people on both sides have cultural and ethnic ties, even as several insurgent groups operating in the northeast take shelter across the border in Myanmar. Following the military coup in the South East Asian nation, there has been an influx of refugees into India.

As per a March report on global arms transfers by Swedish Think Tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India was the third largest arms supplier to Myanmar after Russia and China, accounting for 14% of its imports for the five year period from 2018-22.

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