Modi calls for action against state sponsors of terrorism (Roundup)

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for action against state sponsors of terrorism as Britain joined India in asking Pakistan to act against terrorists who perpetrated the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terror attacks.

Britain also offered India its Registered Traveller Scheme to boost trade and investment making it the first visa-holding country to avail of the facility.

In a joint address to the media following delegation-level talks with visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May here, Modi said he and May discussed “ways to purposefully work together to combat the growing forces of radicalisation and terrorism”.

“We agreed that it is not a limited security challenge. Its arc of threat spreads across nations and regions. Terrorists move across borders with ease, and endanger the entire humanity,” he said.

“I conveyed our deep concerns to Prime Minister May regarding cross-border terrorism and the need for the international community to take strong action against states that support and sponsor terrorism.”

In a joint statement issued after their meeting here, Modi and May “reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and the 2016 Pathankot attack to justice”.

May strongly condemned the September 18 terror attack on the Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the statement.

“The two leaders strongly affirmed that terrorism is a serious threat to humanity and reiterated strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They stressed there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever — agreeing that there should be zero tolerance against terrorism,” said the statement.

In his address to the media, Modi said that growing business partnerships and expanding trade and capital flows between India and Britain were crucial to the economic partnership.

“Indian companies have been successfully raising finance from the City of London,” he said.

“We are encouraged by the London Stock Exchange presently hosting several rupee-denominated Masala bonds. It reflects the strong investor confidence in the fast growing Indian economy.”

Modi said he also discussed defence and security partnership with May.

“I encourage British companies to look at the multiple opportunities in the Indian defence sector,” he stated.

On her part, Prime Minister May said that Britain and India faced the shared threat of terrorism and the two countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation in tackling use of internet by extremists.

“We both face the shared threat of terrorism as individual countries, as partners, and as global powers,” she said.

“We have agreed to strengthen our cooperation, in particular, by sharing best practice to tackle use of internet by violent extremists,” she said.

Stating that India is a leading power of the world, May reiterated that Britain would like to see India take a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

She called for breaking down barriers in trade and investment while voicing support for free trade between India and Britain.

In this connection, she said that India has been made the first visa-holding country to avail of Britain’s Registered Traveller Scheme.

The Registered Traveller Scheme is currently available for nationals from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the US.

As for student visas, she said that Britain would continue to welcome the “best and brightest” of Indian students.

According to the joint statement, the two leaders also welcomed the fourth phase of the joint UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme which looks at new technologies for enhancing nuclear safety and advanced materials for nuclear systems etc.

The Prime Ministers of India and Britain said they will jointly mark out areas in defence and security for mutual future ambitions for training and cooperation.

They also expressed satisfaction over the progress made to establish an India-UK Sub-Fund under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

The fund seeks to leverage private sector investment from the City of London to finance Indian infrastructure projects under the NIIF umbrella.

Earlier on Monday, Modi and May addressed the India-UK Tech Summit here.

This is May’s first bilateral visit outside of Europe since she assumed the Prime Minister’s office in July this year.

She took over the prime ministership after David Cameron resigned following the historic referendum in June in which Britain voted to exit from the European Union. Cameron rooted for Britain to stay in the EU.

May’s visit comes a little less than a year after Modi’s visit to Britain in November last year.

–IANS

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