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India and Myanmar on Wednesday condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations following bilateral discussions led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi here.

“The two leaders discussed the security situation prevailing along their borders and expressed concern at various incidents of terrorism and extremist-inspired violence that have taken place in their respective territories,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.

“Recognising that terrorism remains one of the most significant threats to peace and stability in the region, both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed that the fight against terrorism should target not only terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against states and entities that encourage, support or finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues,” it stated.

Myanmar condemned the terror attacks during the Amarnath Yatra in India in July that claimed the lives of eight Indian pilgrims as also various acts of terror perpetrated by terrorists from across the borders.

India condemned the recent terrorist attacks in northern Rakhine state, wherein several Myanmar security personnel lost their lives.

“Both sides agreed that terrorism violates human rights and there should, therefore, be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs,” the statement said.

“They called on the international community to end selective and partial approaches to combating terrorism and, in this regard, jointly called for the expeditious finalization and adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the United Nations General Assembly.”

The statement also said that maintenance of security and stability along the common border was essential for the socio-economic development of the peoples of the border areas.

“Myanmar reaffirmed its respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and steadfastly upheld the policy of not allowing any insurgent group to utilise Myanmar’s soil to undertake hostile acts against the Indian government,” it stated, adding that Myanmar also appreciated India for upholding the same principle.

Both India and Myanmar reiterated their mutual respect for the already demarcated boundary between the two countries and “emphasised the need to resolve outstanding boundary demarcation issues as fast as possible through existing bilateral mechanisms and consultations”.

The two sides also reviewed the security situation in their immediate neighborhood and agreed upon the special need for enhancing closer bilateral cooperation in maritime security.

They also agreed to foster mutually beneficial and deeper defence cooperation between the two countries.

“Besides institutionalised cooperation through regular coordinated patrolling initiatives, they agreed to focus on bilateral maritime cooperation in non-traditional security domains, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, which are critical for safeguarding the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean as global commons,” the statement said.

India and Myanmar signed 11 agreements following Wednesday’s talks, including on cooperation in maritime security and coastal surveillance.

Modi arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day visit on his first bilateral trip to Myanmar. He had earlier come here in 2014 to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Summit.

First Published | 6 September 2017 11:08 PM
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