Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma held the second phase of border talks to settle the issues of the remaining six ‘areas of differences’ between the two states.
The Chief Ministerial-level talks were held in Guwahati’s Koinadhora on Wednesday.
As an important outcome of the meeting, both the chief ministers decided to jointly visit Karbi Anglong and West Jaintia Hills in the month of June as part of confidence-building measures.
Three regional committees of both states have been directed to start visiting the six remaining areas of dispute out of the 12 areas of differences for multiple stakeholder consultations and fact-finding. The Regional Committees of both states will submit their reports by July end after which the CM-level review meeting will be held.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “We had a very productive meeting today. Of the 12 areas of differences, six are already resolved. Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma and I will jointly visit Karbi Anglong and Jantia Hills in June as a confidence-building measure.”
"The people on both sides will feel confident and they will be assured that both the states will resolve the differences and dispute with a spirit of the long-existing friendship between the people of Meghalaya and Assam," CM Sarma added.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma said that this is the beginning of the process to find a solution for the remaining six areas of differences.
"We had a fruitful discussion. We have asked regional committees to do fact-finding and start the same process as was done for the first phase of talks. We will consult with stakeholders and we hope to get reports very soon, some areas may take time and some will be faster. We hope we will be able to get the reports soon," he said.
Conrad Sangma further said, "I am confident in the leadership of Chief Minister of Assam and the Government of India and we will find a way to resolve the matter with mutual trust and friendships. At the same time, we have asked the Survey of India to continue with their survey work of the first six areas of differences and complete their surveys.”
The Assam delegation comprised of cabinet ministers Atul Bora, Pijush Hazarika, and Chandra Mohan Patowary along with senior government officials.
The Meghalaya delegation comprised of deputy chief ministers Prestone Tynsong and Snaiwbhalang Dhar; minister Comingone Ymbone and senior government officials.