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Assam, Nagaland agree in-principle on exploring oil in disputed areas

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New Delhi: Assam and Nagaland have in-principle decided to go in for an agreement on oil exploration in the disputed areas for economic benefit, an official said on Friday.

The lastest development came after Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma at the Assam House here last night, the official said.

During their meeting, they discussed issues of mutual interests and collaboration on oil exploration along the inter-state border, he added.

“We have discussed about our border issue and development issues. Because we have to work together, support one another and how 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,” Rio told reporters last night after the meeting.

The Nagaland CM further disclosed that both states have in-principle decided to go in for a 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.

Earlier, the Assam CM while apprising about the meeting in a tweet wrote,

“We had engaging discussion on bringing closure to the ongoing boundary issue and other areas of mutual gains and collaboration.”

On Thursday, government of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh signed a MoU to resolve the decades old boundary issues between both the state.

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