Myanmar’s top military commander Gen U Min Aung Hlaing on Friday called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and held extensive talks with the Army and Naval chiefs and explored ways to deepen security ties between the two countries, an official said. A range of issues, including expanding cooperation between armed forces of the two countries, were discussed in the meeting between Jaitley and Gen Hlaing, who is commander-in-chief of the Myanmar Defence Services.
Various operational matters, including enhancing cooperation between security forces of the two countries along the India-Myanmar border, were discussed in talks Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had with the Myanmarese general, the official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media. The two generals are also understood to have discussed regional security scenario and ways to effectively combat terrorism. Gen Rawat had visited Myanmar in May.
Myanmar is one of India’s strategic neighbours and shares a 1,640-km-long border with a number of northeastern states, including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. Gen Hlaing is on an eight-day visit to India from July 7. His talks with the top brass of India’s defence and security establishment come at a time when the armies of India and China are engaged in a standoff in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector.
Myanmar’s President Htin Kyaw had visited India in August last year when the two countries had agreed to step up bilateral coordination between the two border guarding forces to ensure security in the areas along the frontier. India has been concerned over some militant groups from the northeast taking shelter in Myanmar. The country has been assuring New Delhi that it would not allow any insurgent group to use its territory against India.
Gen Hlaing also held wide-ranging discussions with Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba on defence and security cooperation. Admiral Lanba is also chairman of the powerful chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) which comprises chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.