New Delhi, April 21
Hours after signing a border agreement with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam chief Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday evening held talks with his Nagaland counterpart to resolve outstanding border issues.
A statement by the Assam government said that Assam and Nagaland are exploring all options to bring an end to the decades-old border imbroglio in an amicable manner.
Boundary problem between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh was resolved following the signing of an MoU by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday evening.
Chief Minister Sarma later last evening closeted with his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio in a one-on-one discussion at Assam House to resolve the long-standing border row between the neighbouring states.
Both the chief ministers also discussed on issues of mutual interests and collaboration on oil exploration along the inter-state border.
Later taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Sarma said, “Happy to have got an opportunity to spend time with Hon’ble Chief Minister of Nagaland @Neiphiu_Rio Ji at Assam House, New Delhi. We had an engaging discussion on bringing closure to the ongoing boundary issue and other areas of mutual gains and collaboration.”
Talking to media, Nagaland CM Rio said he had a fruitful discussion with his Assam counterpart on settlement of the border dispute out of the court with support and cooperation of ethnic groups from both sides. “We have discussed about our border issue and development issues. Because we have to work together and support one another to go forward. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh signed an agreement on border dispute today, likewise we are also discussing how we should settle our border dispute outside the court with the (support of) ethnic groups from both sides,” said Rio.
Rio said both states had in-principle decided to go in for an MoU on oil exploration in the disputed areas along the inter-state boundary so that oil can be extracted and royalties shared between the neighbouring states. “Once it is formalised, there is huge potential for exploration of oil inside Nagaland also. And to move forward as the country needs oil in a big way,” he added.