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India and Burma strengthen ties

India has praised Burma’s transition to democracy during a visit by Burmese President Thein Sein to New Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed recent developments in Burma, including Friday’s release of 200 political prisoners.

The neighbours, who share a 1,600 km long border, have agreed deals to expand border trade and cooperation in oil and gas exploration.

India extended credit facilities worth £316m for investments in Burmese roads, ports and inland waterways.

Indian officials disputed rumours of economic rivalry with China, till date the biggest investor in Burma.

"We have an important relationship with Myanmar. And we have an important relationship with China. There is no competition," external affairs ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

See our feature on Burma’s reforms:

US hails dramatic change in Burma as Kachin complain of atrocities (11 Oct)