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India, Myanmar agree to intensify dialogue on defence

Sunday 27 March 2005

Yangon, March 27. (PTI):Marking a new dimension in bilateral ties, India and Myanmar have agreed to intensify dialogue on energy and defence coopration and pursue "concrete" measures to counter insurgency and terrorist activities in the border region.

Energy issues came under special focus during talks External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh had with top Myanmar leadership during his four-day visit here.

"It was a highly successful visit. It led to a productive dialogue, closer political understanding and a clear plan for further interaction with Myanmar," India’s Ambassador R K Bhatia said.

He said both sides have decided to press on further movement and with implementation of various developmental projects, specially the Kaladan multi-modal transport project, the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and 1200mw Tamanthi hydroelectric power on Chindwin river in Myanmar which is being developed as a "mutual interest" project between the two countries.

A fact-finding mission from India had visited Myanmar in 1999 for the Tamanthi project which was followed by a joint site inspection by technical representatives of the two countries the same year.

Under a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on the Tamanthi project during the landmark visit to India in October last year by Head of State and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Senior General Than Shwe, the External Affairs Ministry has agreed to fund a pre-feasibility report on the project which will be prepared by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited.

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