NEW DELHI: India and the European Union on Friday resolved to deepen their cooperation to combat terrorism by taking “decisive and concerted actions” against globally proscribed terrorists and terror entities including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim.
After the 14th India-EU Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Donald Franciszek Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker adopted a ‘Joint Statement on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism’ that seeks to deepen their strategic and security cooperation.
Addressing a joint press event with the EU leaders, Modi said, “We have agreed to strengthen our security cooperation and work together against terrorism. We will not only further strengthen our bilateral cooperation on this issue, but will also increase our cooperation and coordination in multilateral fora.”
Tusk said, “We have adopted a joint declaration on counter terrorism in which we agreed to counter violent extremism and radicalisation, particularly online, and to deal effectively with the threat by foreign terrorist fighters, terrorist financing and arms supply.”
Later briefing reporters, Ruchi Ghanshyam, secretary (west) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said it was for the first time that the EU had not only agreed to mention terrorist entities but also terrorists in an India-EU document.
She said the joint statement on combating terrorism talks of cutting flow of funds and economic resources to individuals and to other entities involved in terrorism.
“The leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against globally proscribed terrorists and terror entities including Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e- Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Jihad, the Haqqani network, al Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates,” she said.
The two sides, she said, reaffirmed their commitment to jointly combating terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations irrespective of their motives.
“They (the two sides) have agreed to exchange information on domestic and international terrorist designation listing proposals,” Ghanshyam said.
The leaders strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in many parts of the world, underlining their common concern about the global threat posed by terrorism and extremism.
Ghanshyam said the leaders also called for perpetrators of the recent terrorist strikes like those in Pathankot, Uri, Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir) Stockholm (Sweden), Nice (France), London, Barcelona (Spain), Brussels (Belgium) and also the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks to be brought to justice.
“They recalled that responsible states should take adequate measures to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist activities,” Ghanshyam said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
The leaders welcomed the joint commitment to exploring opportunities to share information, best practices, including those related to countering online threat of radicalisation, and to engage in capacity building activities such as training and workshops. They emphasised on the need to deepen cooperation within the UN and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The EU congratulated India on becoming a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and welcomed its subscription to The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).
They also noted New Delhi’s intensified engagement with the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean and beyond.
They noted that the recent joint manoeuvres (PASSEX) between the EU Naval Force and the Indian Navy off the coast of Somalia was a successful example of naval cooperation.
“The EU looks forward to India’s possible participation in escorting World Food Programme vessels in the near future,” Tusk said.
The EU appreciated the “positive role” being played by India in extending development assistance in Afghanistan, including for building social and economic infrastructure, governance institutions and human resource development and capacity building.
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