Burma's Ruling General Receives Ceremonial Welcome in India

Burma's reclusive military ruler, Senior General Than Shwe, received a full ceremonial welcome in New Delhi Tuesday, as India seeks stronger ties with Burma.

The 77-year-old general met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and is expected to sign several deals to boost trade and defense cooperation between their countries.

Rights groups have criticized India for engaging with Burma, citing concerns about the Burmese government's continued suppression of its political opponents.

Pro-democracy activists have held demonstrations in New Delhi to protest against Than Shwe's five-day visit.

India and Burma are planning to work together to combat arms smuggling across their shared border.

India, a major fuel importer, is also interested in Burma's large natural gas reserves.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters