Shillong: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma of Meghalaya and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam on Wednesday engaged in an informal conversation regarding the border issue. They reached an agreement to formalise confidence-building measures before conducting a joint visit to the areas of dispute in October.
Sarma said, “We thought that our visit should not create tension. If both CMs go to the area (Karbi Anglong – West Jaintia Hills border), and after our return, there is fresh tension, then people will blame us. So, we want to quickly develop some confidence-building measures.”
“Once those confidence-building measures are formalised, we will both go to the site and discuss with the people of the border villages as well. When we went to Langpih, there were lots of festivities. So, we want to go to Karbi Anglong and Jaintia Hills with the same kind of festivity,” he added.
The Assam CM expressed his desire for a formal meeting and border area visit in October, suggesting the first or second week depending on the Meghalaya CM’s availability.
When asked when the regional committees are likely to submit their reports, Sarma said, “As we told you, these six areas are a little complicated, so these regional committees are headed by matured people on both sides. They are working very hard, visiting those areas frequently, and we believe that everything will be settled in the most peaceful and amicable manner.”
Meanwhile, Sarma appealed for peace and calm at the border and assured resolution efforts.
Earlier, CM Conrad K Sangma said that the informal meeting is part of the exercise and process to discuss the matter to help both states get into a better understanding.
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“There is no definitive outcome at this point, and this exercise will continue from time to time,” he said while thanking the chief minister of Assam, the CEM of KAAC, and the deputy chief minister of Meghalaya, who is heading the regional committee in the Jaintia Hills region, for their time.
Stating that the informal discussion was very positive, Sangma said, “We are hopeful that we can slowly and steadily move towards a resolution while ensuring peace in the area.”
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