New Delhi, Jun 26: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday conveyed to his Myanmarese counterpart U Than Shwe India's "deep concern" over the impact of violence and instability in Myanmar on the Indian border and sought cooperation for early return of Indians trapped in Myawaddy town.

Jaishankar met Shwe, also Myanmar's deputy prime minister, in Delhi, in the first publicly acknowledged engagement in India with a senior leader of the military junta since it seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021.

Shwe was transiting through New Delhi while returning to Myanmar from a foreign trip.

In a post on 'X' following the meeting, Jaishankar said he pressed for "credible security" to India's ongoing projects in Myanmar and called for early return to the path of democratic transition in that country.

The external affairs minister particularly pointed out about the impact of continuing violence and instability in that country on the Indian border and especially raised the issue of illegal narcotics and arms smuggling as priority challenges.

In the meeting, Jaishankar pitched for early return to the path of democratic transition in Myanmar and told Shwe that India is open to engaging all stakeholders to address the situation.

Several parts of Myanmar have been witnessing intense fighting between the military junta and resistance forces. The resistance forces have already captured several towns.

The anti-junta forces seized control of several military bases and a command centre at Myawaddy in April.

"Met with Deputy PM and FM of Myanmar U Than Shwe as he transited New Delhi today. Discussed our deep concern at the impact of continuing violence and instability in Myanmar on our border. India is open to engaging all stakeholders in addressing this situation," Jaishankar said on 'X'.

"Particularly flagged illegal narcotics, arms smuggling and trafficking in persons as priority challenges. Sought cooperation for early return of Indian nationals trapped in Myawaddy," he said.

"Pressed for credible security protection for our ongoing projects in the country. Urged early return to the path of democratic transition in Myanmar. India stands ready to help in any manner," he added.

Around three weeks back, the Indian embassy in Myanmar called upon Indian nationals looking for jobs in that country to be careful so that they are not lured into fake or illegal employment.

In an advisory, the embassy had said an international crime syndicate is active in the Myawaddy region on Myanmar-Thailand border and urged Indians to exercise caution before taking up job offers in the region.

It is learnt that around 100 Indians are trapped in Myawaddy at present after they fell victim of job scams.

Myanmar has been witnessing widespread violent protests demanding restoration of democracy since the military seized power in the coup.

The resistance forces have already captured many key trading points along the borders with India, China and Bangladesh.

Rakhine state and many other regions have reported severe fighting between armed ethnic groups and the Myanmarese military since October last year.

The hostilities between the two sides saw a rapid spike since last November in several key Myanmarese towns and regions near the border with India as well, fuelling concerns in New Delhi over the possible ramifications for security of Manipur and Mizoram.

Myanmar is one of India's strategic neighbours and it shares a 1,640 kilometre-long border with a number of northeastern states including militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur.

In view of the violence and instability in border areas of Myanmar, Union Home Minister Amit Shah in January announced a plan to fence the border. PTI