Sushma meets N-E CMs

Sushma meets N-E CMs

Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj along with Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh with the chief minister of Northeastern States after an interactive session with them on 'Act East Policy' in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers of the north-eastern states on Friday discussed India's connectivity initiatives with the neighbouring countries.

Sushma told the chief ministers that the state governments of the northeastern region were active stakeholders in the Act East Policy of India.

Greater connectivity and economic integration of the North-East with its eastern neighbours were considered a key focus area for growth and development of the region, the external affairs minister told the chief ministers.

Sarbananda Sonowal, N Biren Singh, Conrad Sangma, Neiphiu Rio and Biplab Kumar Deb — the chief ministers of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura, respectively —  attended the meeting chaired by the external affairs minister.

Pawan Chamling and Lal Thanhawla, chief ministers of Sikkim and Mizoram, did not attend the meeting. Pema Khandu, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, also did not come, but sent his deputy Chowna Mein.

Sushma briefed the chief ministers about the government's Act East Policy, which received a major boost following the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held in New Delhi on January 25 this year.

Rajiv Kumar, vice chairman of the Niti Aayog, and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh also attended the meeting.

They deliberated on the region's intra-regional and sub-regional surface and air linkages, focusing on seamless connectivity with its contiguous neighbourhood, Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

"Continued development of relevant infrastructure both within the state and at international borders was also discussed with a view to enhancing trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people ties," he said.