India, Indonesia resolve to deepen cooperation to combat terror

zero tolerance, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Indonesian, President, Joko Widodo, Muslim

New Delhi: India and the world’s most populous Muslim nation Indonesia on Monday decided to expand their defence and maritime security ties and resolved to effectively deal with terrorism, calling for “zero tolerance” towards it.

The two countries, among the very few fast growing large economies globally, also decided to boost bilateral trade and investment in areas of oil and gas, renewable energy, IT and pharmaceuticals, during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The issue of South China Sea figured prominently in the talks and in a veiled message to Beijing, both sides asserted that the dispute must be resolved through peaceful means and without resorting to threat or use of force.

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Two MoUs, one on providing for cooperation in youth affairs and sports and another on standardisation were signed.

A joint communique on combating illegal and unregulated fishing was also firmed up.

In his media statement, Modi said the talks focused on the full range of bilateral cooperation and that both countries agreed to prioritise defence and security cooperation, besides ramping up efforts to ensure safety and security of the sea lanes.

“As the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia stands for democracy, diversity, pluralism, and social harmony. These are also our values. Our nations and societies have nurtured strong bonds of commerce and culture throughout our history,” Modi, flanked by Widodo, said.

Asked whether India raised the issue of Indian national Gurdeep Singh, facing death sentence in Indonesia on drug charges, officials did not give a direct reply but said the matter is under judicial process in that country.

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A joint statement said the two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in the strongest terms, holding that there must be “zero tolerance” for acts of terror and that all states must deal with trans-national terrorism emanating from their territory by effective criminal justice response.

“Both leaders discussed the threat from global terrorism and other transnational crimes and resolved to significantly enhance bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, terrorist financing, money laundering, arms smuggling, trafficking in human beings and cyber crime,” it said.

Modi and Widodo called upon all countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 (banning militant groups and their leaders) and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities, seen as an apparent reference to China blocking India’s move to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist by the UN.

The two leaders also asked all nations to work towards eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terror networks and their financing channels and stopping cross-border terrorism,seen as a message to Pakistan.

Emphasising on the need to improve connectivity and encourage people-to-people contact, the two leaders also welcomed Indonesian airline Garuda commencing direct flights from Jakarta to Mumbai.

(With PTI inputs)


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