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Modi discusses combatting radicalisation with leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Sweden

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed different measures of combatting radicalisation with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in separate meetings on Friday.

Photo credit: economictimes.indiatimes.com
Photo credit: economictimes.indiatimes.com

In talks with the three leaders, the threat from ISIS and other radical groups came up, according to external affairs ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup. They talked about ways to counter radicalisation in this context.

Modi met Abdullah at Hotel Mandarin, where he was staying – so far the only trip Modi has taken out of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to specifically visit a leader at his lodging.

The king said that the ISIS posed a major threat to the world, according to Swarup. To counter radicalisation, Modi told him, terrorism must be delinked from religion. He also advocated for the Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism, which has been languishing due to opposition from certain countries over the definition of terrorists.

Abdullah backed Security Council reforms and supported India’s bid for a permanent seat.

Besides how to counter radicalisation and terror, Modi and el-Sisi discussed economic issues. The New Suez Canal that was recently opened offered India investment opportunities, Modi was told during the bilateral meeting at the UN.

Lofven, who came to Waldorf Astoria to meet Modi, discussed with him the threat from the ISIS and radicalisation.

Modi invited Sweden to participate in his ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skills India’ initiatives. Among areas that the two countries can cooperate, Modi mentioned railways for which he has ambitious expansion plans.

On Security Council reform, Modi received reaffirmation of Swedish support for a permanent seat.

While at the UN, Modi met Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St Lucia, a small Caribbean island nation of 173,000 people. Anthony told Modi that he appreciated the importance he gave to small countries like his. India has been actively pursuing diplomatic and developmental efforts with Small Island Developing States group, which has 52 members, including St. Lucia.

The deep ties between India and Cyprus that go back to the early days of the Non-Aligned Movement were recalled during Modi’s meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the Waldorf Astoria. Both Anastasiades and Modi expressed appreciation for the way each of the two nations had stood by the other over the years.

Anastasiades said the two countries could cooperate in high-tech areas and in shipping.

Since Cyprus is in the European Union, Modi talked about expanding ties with the bloc, but also mentioned some of the trade problems India had with the EU. One of them was the EU holding up 700 drugs based on the report of one inspector.

Anastasiades also said he supported India’s bid for permanent membership in the Security Council.

With inputs from IANS

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)