New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) As two rebel groups signed a ceasefire pact with Myanmar government, India today said it will continue to support the peace process and that national reconciliation in the neighbouring country will also benefit the north-eastern states.
Spokesperson in the external affairs ministry Raveesh Kumar said comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for peace and prosperity in India’s north-eastern region.
The presence of Indian representative demonstrates the country’s continued support to the peace process in Myanmar, he said.
“India supports the Myanmar peace process. Comprehensive peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar will also be conducive for the peace and prosperity of the north-eastern states of India,” Kumar said.
The two groups — New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Lahu Democratic Union (LDU) — signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), joining the peace process. Eight groups had joined the peace process in 2015.
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.
Kumar said given the “positive” bilateral ties and significance for India of Myanmar’s peace process, the neighbouring country had earlier invited New Delhi together with China, Japan, Thailand, UN and European Union to sign the NCA as international witnesses in October 2015.
He said NSA Ajit Doval had represented India on that occasion.
“Today’s event is another step in the process with two more parties, the NMSP and the LDU, agreeing to sign the NCA.
The presence of our representative demonstrates India’s continued support to the peace process in Myanmar,” Kumar said.
He was responding to a query on India’s presence at the signing of the NCA in Myanmar.
The government of Aung San Suu Kyi is pursuing the peace process in the country and impressing upon various rebel groups to join it.
India has been concerned over some militant groups from the North-East region taking shelter in Myanmar. The country has been assuring India that it would not allow any insurgent group to use its territory against India.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.