Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma with Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio in New Delhi

Assam chief minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma held a one-to-one discussion with his Nagaland counterpart Neiphiu Rio at Assam House in New Delhi to resolve the long-standing border row between the two neighbouring states, said an official statement.

Close on the heels of the boundary settlement between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in New Delhi on April 20, Assam and Nagaland are exploring all options to bring an end to the decades-old border imbroglio in an amicable manner.

According to the statement, both the chief ministers also discussed issues of mutual interests and collaboration on oil exploration along the inter-state border.

Later taking to Twitter, Himanta Biswa Sarma said: “Happy to have got an opportunity to spend time with Chief Minister of Nagaland @Neiphiu_Rio Ji at Assam House, New Delhi. We discussed bringing closure to the ongoing boundary issue and other areas of mutual gains and collaboration.”

While speaking to the media, Nagaland CM Rio said he had a fruitful discussion with his Assam counterpart on the settlement of the border dispute out of the court with the support and cooperation of ethnic groups from both sides.

“We have discussed our border issue and development issues. Because we have to work together and support one another going 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,” CM Rio said.

Neiphiu Rio further disclosed both states have 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 oil exploration inside Nagaland also. And to move forward as the country needs oil in a big way,” he added.

Earlier on April 20, Assam CM Sarma and Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of union home minister Amit Shah resolving the boundary problem between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

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