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India Reluctant to Pressure Burma

28 September 2007

A spokesman for India's foreign ministry says New Delhi is concerned about recent developments in Burma, where a military crackdown on anti-government protests has left at least 10 people dead.

Navtej Sarna told VOA Hindi service that India is closely watching developments in Burma, which he referred to as a close friend. The spokesman said the volatile situation there is of great concern for India.

Mr. Sarna also said his government has no desire to interfere with the internal affairs of Burma. He said India is calling for peaceful and broad-based political reforms in that country.

India has close economic and diplomatic ties with Burma. New Delhi has strong oil interests there and has just signed a new deep-water exploration deal with Rangoon. India also sells arms to the military government.

As the world's largest democracy, India is under pressure from western nations and human rights activists to persuade the Burmese military government to improve its record on human rights and democracy.

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