India, UAE give boost to anti-terror cooperation

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) Taking forward their cooperation in the fight against terror, India and the UAE on Thursday condemned efforts to use religion to justify and sponsor terrorism against other countries, and expressed confidence that their bilateral efforts to fight the menace would contribute to regional and global peace and security.

In a joint statement, issued a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan held talks here and a number of agreements were inked, the two sides on Thursday also decided to review the progress in realising the $75 billion target for UAE investments in Indian infrastructure development.

The reference to terrorism, spread over nine large paragraphs, underlines the progress in bilateral cooperation to fight terrorism, which had found mention during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to the UAE in August 2015.

“The two sides condemned efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They further deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and pointed out the responsibility of all States to control the activities of the so-called ‘non-state actors’,” it said.

Both sides also agreed to adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism.

“Satisfied at the growing bilateral collaboration on counterterrorism, information sharing and capacity-building, they expressed confidence that these efforts would contribute to regional and global peace and security.”

Both also agreed to coordinate efforts to counter radicalisation and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and perpetrating acts of terrorism.

“Both sides noted the importance of efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement, in accordance with the relevant principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international laws.

“The two sides deplored the use of double standards in addressing the menace of international terrorism and agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system,” it said, in what can be read as a reference to Pakistan.

The two leaders agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens and sanctuaries that provide shelter to terrorists and their activities.

On the $75 billion fund, for which the groundwork had been laid down during Modi’s visit, both sides agreed that the “Joint Working Group formed under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the framework for facilitating the participation of UAE Institutional Investors in National Infrastructure Investment Fund should meet regularly to boost investment ties to realize the full potential”.

Describing the existing Bilateral Investment Treaty of December 2013 a key framework for promotion of investments ties, the two leaders directed their respective Ministries to commence renegotiations on the revised treaty text for early finalisation.

The two sides agreed to further strengthen their mechanisms for exchange of information in tax matters under the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement.

Sheikh Mohammed encouraged Indian participation and partnership in Dubai Expo 2020 and India conveyed its interest to be a partner in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the UAE in preparation for the Dubai Expo as well as in UAE’s development plans.

Both sides welcomed inking of the agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited for the establishment of Strategic Petroleum Reserve in India during the visit.

Both also agreed to expand their collaboration in the field of renewable energy and in the international negotiations on climate change, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and to continue their strong support to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the statement said.

Both sides also agreed to support each other’s candidatures and campaigns at the United Nations.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed for the consistent support expressed by the UAE for India’s candidature for permanent membership in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council, it said.

Outlining the urgent need for a rule-based, just and equitable system of regional and international governance, the two sides agreed to further strengthen dialogue and consultations on major bilateral, regional, and international matters of mutual concern.

In this context, the two leaders expressed satisfaction that the first round of the India-UAE policy planning Strategic Dialogue between the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as announced in the February 2016 visit, was held on 20 January 2017 in New Delhi, it said.

–IANS

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