India, Myanmar hold Foreign Office consultations

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) Myanmar's Deputy Foreign Minister Kyaw Thu held discussions with Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon here today on the regional and international situation and several bilateral matters.

The discussions, held as part of the annual Foreign Office consultations between the two countries, ''covered all areas of mutual interest including bilateral, regional and international issues,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here.

The discussions were held in an atmosphere of ''friendship and cordiality that mark relations between India and Myanmar as close neighbours,'' the spokesman said.

Sources said the Myanmar leader apprised the Indian government about the latest situation in his counhtry following the pro-democracy protests in that country.

The two countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishment of an India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of Information Technology Skills (IMCEITS) at Yangon with Indian assistance.

Mr Kyaw Thu, who is in India at the invitation of the Foreign Secretary, also called on External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and discussed with him bilateral, regional and international situation.

India shares a border of more than 1600 km with Myanmar.

Bilateral trade between the two sides is nearly one billion US Dollars. Myanmar also serves as a gateway to South East Asia.

''India is committed to extending assistance to Myanmar on various developmental projects of mutual benefit including the Kaladan Multi-modal Transport Project,'' the spokesman added.

The Foreign Office Consultations is an annual feature and is one of the seven institutional mechanisms between the two countries for bilateral dialogue between India and Myanmar.

UNI

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