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Das Kadam: Modi proposes ten steps for united action against terrorism

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Narendra-Modi

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a strong pitch for united action against terrorism and extremism by countries, including among BRICS, without discriminating between groups, or countries, sponsors or targeted nations. He also proposed a slew of steps, including a film festival and football, to boost cooperation among the BRICS members.

Modi, addressing the BRICS plenary session, said peace and stability were the bulwarks of progress and prosperity and it was the responsibility of countries to unitedly combat terrorism and extremism.

“We should unitedly combat terrorism and extremism, without any discrimination between groups, or countries, sponsors or targeted countries,” Modi said at the plenary, attended by the leaders of the other four partners – Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.

His remarks came a day after he raised with China’s Xi India’s concerns over Beijing blocking New Delhi’s move for action in the UN against Pakistan over the release of 26/11 mastermind and LeT terrorist Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.

“We must do this in BRICS as well as UN Security Council and in other groups of nations,” Modi said in his address in Hindi.

Modi also said all major countries should take decisions based on consensus, collaboration and cooperation and that international rules and norms should be upheld.

Modi also proposed 10 steps – “Das Kadam” – for the future of BRICS.

These include a BRICS trade fair, a railway research centre, cooperation among supreme audit institutions, a digital initiative, an agricultural research centre, a forum of state/local governments among the BRICS nations, cooperation among cities in the field of urbanisation, a sports council and an annual sports meet, the first major project of New Development Bank to be in the field of clean energy and a film festival.

Modi, in his address to the BRICS Business Council and the plenary, proposed India could host the inaugural trade fair next year as well as the football event.

India will host the summit in 2016.

He also proposed a BRICS film festival and film awards, which he said would give a boost to film making and people-to-people contact.

He said the Economic Cooperation Strategy, which includes a number of social initiatives, was a milestone in BRICS 2015 evolution.

He also pointed to the urgent need for UN Security Council reforms.

“Whatever is the nature of challenge – political, social, and economic – we will be more effective in addressing them if we complete the reforms of the UN, especially its Security Council, within a fixed time frame. These reforms are urgently required, if the global institution is to retain its role and relevance in the 21st century,” he said.

Modi also thanked the grouping for making the International Yoga Day on June 21 a success.

“BRICS can be a pillar of hope in a world facing many challenges, its initiatives are not just for itself but for the world,” he said.

Addressing the BRICS Business Council earlier, Modi also took a swipe at “unilateral sanctions” which he said were hurting the global economy.

His comment was seen as a swipe at the West for its sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Sujata Mehta, secretary (MER) in the external affairs ministry, said it was “India’s position that sanctions of any nature should be approved by the UNSC, and those that are not are not sanctions that we adhere to or accept”.

Modi later held bilateral meetings with Rousseff and Zuma. He had met Putin and Xi on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, Modi held a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Merkel Told Putin, US Complicated Middle East Situation

"But if you want to solve problems, you have to talk to each other," Merkel was quoted as saying.

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in a bid to inform Merkel's and Macron's respective meetings with US President Donald Trump in Washington this week, German federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said Sunday, reported Xinhua news agency.
Angela Merkel, wikimedia commons

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Middle East situation had been complicated by the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

According to a statement issued by the German government, Merkel made the remarks on Friday during her meeting with Putin in Russia’s Black Sea city of Sochi, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel told Putin that Germany, like the rest of Europe, did not want to leave the agreement and wanted to continue to support it. With regard to the Iranian nuclear programme, the agreement gives “more security, more control and, above all, more transparency”.

But there are also topics “that have to be talked about with Iran”, Merkel said, referring to the concerns of the Iranian ballistic missile program, and the question of how to proceed after the expiration of each element of the nuclear agreement.

Merkel
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, wikimedia commons

Merkel stressed after her talks with Putin how important it was to have an open exchange of ideas, especially if the two countries have different views, adding that the German-Russian cooperation had endured serious differences.

“But if you want to solve problems, you have to talk to each other,” Merkel was quoted as saying.

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With regard to the situation in Ukraine, Merkel said the Minsk accord was the “only basis” to achieve peace in east Ukraine, and agreed with Putin that it was important to station a UN peacekeeping troop in the area.

With regard to Syria, Merkel said that Germany would continue to support UN’s mediation efforts with full force, saying it was important the already-agreed upon process of constitutional reform really got going. (IANS)