New Delhi, April 8 (PTI): India and the Maldives on Thursday strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, including cross-border terrorism, and emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat the menace in a comprehensive and sustained manner.
The two countries also underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks on others, and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.
The assertion was made by the two countries at their first meeting here of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and De-Radicalisation.
The Indian side was led by Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, while the Maldivian side was led by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed.
India and the Maldives strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner, a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said.
Both sides reviewed threats posed by terrorist entities that are under UN sanctions and emphasised the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks, it said.
They underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks on others and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.
Referring to the Joint Statement issued during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's State visit to the Maldives in June 2019, the two sides recognised the critical threats that terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation pose to peace and security in the region.
India appreciated the clear-eyed stance taken by the government of Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih to counter such threats and the concrete steps taken by the Maldives in this regard.
The two sides also exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the sphere of counterterrorism including countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism, information sharing, capacity building and establishing institutional linkages between police, security forces, customs, immigration and other relevant agencies.
The two sides also exchanged views on enhancing bilateral cooperation against narcotics and drugs trafficking, the MEA said.
The also discussed the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to countering terrorism, radicalisation and violent extremism, it said.
The meeting was held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere that symbolises the time-tested and good neighbourly ties between India and the Maldives and the energy, ambition and scale acquired by bilateral relations under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Solih, the statement said.
Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation that will include assistance and capacity building for the security and law enforcement agencies and other relevant agencies of the Maldives as well as collaboration and the exchange of best practices in the areas of counterterrorism, preventing and countering of violent extremism and de-radicalisation.
The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora, the MEA said.
The Maldivian delegation will also visit the training facilities of National Security Guard and the Bureau of Police Research and Development during its stay in New Delhi.