India, Myanmar sign defence cooperation agreement

India and Myanmar on Monday signed a defence co-operation agreement providing for boosting military engagement between the two countries.

The pact was inked after Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's Defence Services Senior General Min Aung Hlaing held extensive talks with Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik.

Hlaing, accompanied by a high-level delegation from the Myanmar Defence Services, also met Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh.

Officials said the talks were aimed at enhancing the overall defence co-operation, including strengthening training being provided to Myanmar defence personnel by India.

The two sides also explored ways to boost maritime security cooperation.

"On conclusion of the talks, India and Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding on defence co-operation," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The visit here by the Senior General of Myanmar comes weeks after armies of the two countries carried out a coordinated operation in their respective border areas, targeting several militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.

Myanmar is one of the strategic neighbours of India and shares a 1,640-km border with a number of north-eastern states, including the militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

India has steadily increased defence co-operation with Myanmar in recent years.

The armies of the two countries carried out a three-week-long coordinated operation from May 16 to flush out several militant groups operating along the Indo-Myanmar border.

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