Yupia: The Assam government is ready to do whatever is needed to resolve the decades-old boundary dispute with Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma said on Sunday.

Attending a programme to mark the 36th statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh, Sarma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have directed all the Northeastern states to resolve the boundary disputes through dialogues so that region remains united for the growth of the country.

“The Assam government is ready to do whatever is needed to resolve the issue so that the age-old cordial relations between the neighbouring states continue,” he said.

Government-level talks are ongoing between the two states, he added

“From April, we will start the process seriously through appropriate dialogue at the ground level to reach a logical conclusion,” the Assam chief minister said.

PM Modi and Home Minister Shah have directed all Northeastern states to resolve boundary disputes through dialogue instead of solutions given by courts, so that the region remains united, becoming the “growth engine” of the country, Sarma said.

“Our efforts are on to keep the identity of Northeast intact for the rest of the country,” said Sarma, the convener of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

In his address, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the two governments are working to resolve the inter-state boundary dispute.

Arunachal Pradesh was carved out of Assam and the two states share a boundary of over 800 km.

The inter-state border region has been witness to frequent flare-ups with the first clash in 1992. Both sides have been accusing each other of illegal encroachment. The issue is at present before the Supreme Court.

Sarma said that by inviting him to the event, Arunachal Pradesh has honoured the people of Assam.

“I am privileged to be a part of the historic event. By inviting me, the state has honoured the people of Assam for which we will remain grateful,” Sarma said.

Assam contributed much to the growth of Arunachal Pradesh, he said.

Describing Arunachal Pradesh as a testimony to “unity in diversity”, Sarma said the cultural diversity of the state was reflected in many songs of legendary Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika.

“Arunachal Pradesh also equally contributed to Assam in the literary field with noted writers Lummer Dai and YD Thongchi penning several novels in Assamese,” he said.

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