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India, Kyrgyzstan plan anti-terror pact

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing signing of an agreement at Bishkek on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing signing of an agreement at Bishkek on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Extremism a threat without borders, says Prime Minister Modi

Voicing grave concern over the rising trend of extremism and terrorism the world over, India and Kyrgyzstan on Sunday signed four agreements including one to boost defence cooperation and hold annual joint military exercises.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here on Saturday night as part of his eight-day six-nation tour of Central Asia, emphasised the need to combat terrorism and extremism which he described as a threat without borders.

“We both seek a peaceful and secure neighbourhood at a time of challenges in our region. And, we have shared interest in combating extremism and terrorism that has become a threat without borders,” he said in a joint press meeting with President Almazbek Atambayev after their talks.

The agreements include those on defence cooperation and culture. An MoU each was signed for cooperation between the Election Commissions of the two countries and on cooperation in the sphere of Standards, a move that will help economic relations.

A joint statement released later said both sides “expressed grave concern at the rising trend of extremism, radicalism and terrorism in the region and whole world”.

Secularism lauded

It said the Indian side highly appreciated the steps taken by the Kyrgyz government in combating terrorism and in retaining the secular character of Kyrgyz society.

“The two sides agreed to expeditiously consider signing an agreement on ‘combating international terrorism and other crimes’,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister underlined that his visit to all five countries in the region “demonstrates the importance that we attach to a new level of relationship with Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a key part of that vision”.

Noting that the bilateral defence ties are strong, he said a joint exercise Khanjar 2015 has just been completed.

“We have decided to hold joint military exercises on an annual basis,” he said.

Mr. Modi underlined that the new agreement on defence cooperation would provide a “framework to broaden bilateral engagement” which would also include defence technology.

Support for U.N. seat

Thanking Kyrgyzstan’s “strong support” to India’s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council, Mr. Modi sought Mr. Atambaev’s support for early completion of the reforms in the world body.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 9:09:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-kyrgyzstan-plan-antiterror-pact/article7414743.ece

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