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Root out terror: BIMSTEC

Myanmar's first lady Daw Cho Cho, Nepal's first lady Radhika Shakya, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Myanmar's president Win Myint, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice as well as Chief Advisor of the interim government of Bhutan, Dasho Tshering Wangchuk and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pose for a group photo during the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Myanmar's first lady Daw Cho Cho, Nepal's first lady Radhika Shakya, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal's Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Myanmar's president Win Myint, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice as well as Chief Advisor of the interim government of Bhutan, Dasho Tshering Wangchuk and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pose for a group photo during the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit in Kathmandu on Friday, August 31, 2018.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The regional grouping’s Kathmandu Declaration focusses on backing of terror by state and non-state actors, apart from connectivity among the member nations.

Describing terrorism as a “great threat” to international peace and security, India and six other BIMSTEC nations on Friday called for identifying and holding accountable states and non-state entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists and falsely extol their virtues.

The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) is a regional grouping comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

The Kathmandu Declaration issued at the end of the two-day fourth BIMSTEC summit, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, deplored terror attacks in all parts of the world, including in BIMSTEC countries, and stressed that there could be no justification for any act of terrorism.

“Today’s [Friday] proceedings at the BIMSTEC Summit were extremely productive. We built on the ground covered yesterday [Thursday] and reiterated our commitment to further strengthen multilateral cooperation in diverse areas,” Mr. Modi said.

Great threat

“Terrorism and transnational organised crimes continue to pose a great threat to international peace and security including in the BIMSTEC countries,” the declaration said.

The unanimously adopted declaration said the “fight against terrorism should target not only terrorists, terror organisations and networks but also identify and hold accountable states and non-state entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuaries to terrorists and terror groups and falsely extol their virtues.”

The declaration did not name any specific country, but Pakistan is often accused by its neighbours, including India, of providing safe havens to terrorists.

The declaration underlined the importance of multidimensional connectivity, which promotes synergy among connectivity frameworks in the region, as a key enabler to economic integration for shared prosperity.

An MoU was signed on establishment of the BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection. “The MoU provides for optimisation of using energy resources in the region & promotion of efficient & secure operation of power system,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 9:58:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-meets-myanmar-president-on-the-sidelines-of-bimstec-summit/article24828589.ece

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