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Indo-Myanmar boost ties, sign counter-terror pact; MoU for USD 60 mn
New Delhi, Jul 27 (IANS/AGENCIES):
Published on 28 Jul. 2010 12:07 AM IST
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India Tuesday signed a clutch of pacts to boost counter-terror cooperation and cement cultural ties with Myanmar, the energy-rich Southeast Asian country whose military junta is considered a pariah in many Western capitals.
The two countries signed five pacts after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with visiting Myanmar military ruler General Than Shwe over a wide range of issues, including counter-terror cooperation, enhanced energy ties and collaboration in a string of developmental projects.
Among the pacts is a treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters that will be crucial in enabling India get access to insurgents from India’s northeast states who continue to shelter along the sprawling 1,650-kilometer India-Myanmar border.
The treaty aims at deepening bilateral cooperation in combating transnational organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and smuggling of arms and explosives.
Increased collaboration for developing cross-border connectivity and infrastructure development figured prominently in the discussions. The two sides also signed pacts in the areas of small development projects, science and technology and information cooperation.
A memorandum of understanding on Indian assistance in restoring the Ananda temple in Bagan, a renowned Buddhist shrine and a major tourist site in central Myanmar, was also inked.
Against the backdrop of China’s growing clout in Myanmar, India has rolled out the red carpet to welcome.
Than Shwe’s visit to India, the world’s most populous democracy, takes place days after the US renewed sanctions barring trade with companies tied to the junta in Myanmar. On the eve of the visit, the US has said it “expects to send a clear message to Burma that it needs to change its course”.
Thousands of Myanmarese refugees staying in India for years aired their outrage at Than Shwe’s visit and have urged the Indian government not to endorse the upcoming elections in that country.
Besides energy, India sees Myanmar as a gateway for increased connectivity of its northeastern states to Southeast Asia. The transport corridor that would give India’s landlocked northeastern states access to the Bay of Bengal through the Myanmar port of Sittwe was also discussed between the two sides.
MoU for 60 million USD
India and Myanmar on Tuesday singed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the creation of a Line of Credit of 60 million US Dollars. The MoU was signed between the EXIM Bank of India and the Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank here today.
A delegation from Myanmar comprising of the Ministers of Commerce, National Planning and Economic Development, and Science and Technology witnessed the signing of the agreement.
The delegation invited the Indian private sector to invest and participate in the process of national development of Myanmar. It also stressed on the need to enhance the business and trade ties between the two nations.

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