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ASEAN Diplomats Get First Hand Account Of Moreh

IMPHAL, Sep 20: The Ambassadors of seven ASEAN countries, who arrived here yesterday, travelled to Moreh by road and conducted a firsthand assessment of the trade activities and infrastructure available at the border towns of Moreh and Tamu.

The foreign diplomats, however, had to endure a bumpy journey as Imphal-Moreh route has not improved from its earlier dilapidated condition.

The ASEAN Heads of Mission including Ambassadors of Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos travelled by road all the way to Moreh from Imphal which are 120 Kms apart.

The foreign diplomats were received by Chandel Deputy Commissioner H Deleep and other State Government officials at the border town.

Later, they led the Ambassadors to Moreh Gate No 1 and showed the land customs station being constructed there.

The DC and his officials also explained about the integrated check posts which would be constructed at Moreh.

Incidentally, Moreh is one of the 13 border towns selected by the Home Ministry through the Land Ports Authority of India for building integrated check posts.

For construction of the integrated check post, the State Government has already acquired 45.5 acres of land and the same has been handed over to the Union Home Ministry.

Travelling along Friendship Road, which was built by India, the Ambassadors reached Tamu across the border.

They visited Tamu trade office, Tamu town and Namphalong market and observed trade activities being carried on in a very organized manner.

Myanmarese Ambassador Kyl Thien took his counterparts to some shops at Tamu.

A rare gesture but strange nevertheless, there was no objection to entry of journalists who accompanied the foreign diplomats into Myanmar.

This was a peculiar case as the Myanmarese junta has never allowed entry of foreign journalists inside their territory.

The journalists were even allowed to take photographs of an army officer standing together with a civilian.

Later speaking to the journalists inside a Pagoda at Tamu, Kyl Thien said that today’s inspection visit was only the beginning of a long journey.

He said that diplomatic efforts would be taken up in subsequent stages to expand the Indo-Myanmar trade through Moreh to Indo- ASEAN level in addition to strengthening co- operation in tourism sector and people to people contact. Malaysian Ambassador Dato Tan Seng Sung said they their meeting with the Chief Minister of Manipur yesterday on bilateral trade and investment opportunities was very positive.

The foreign diplomats would leave for Aizawl tomorrow after visiting Imphal War Cemetery, BT Park and Kangla. Notably, the list of trade items between India and Myanmar through Moreh has been increased to 40 from 22.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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