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Modi inks four agreements with Kyrgyzstan including one in defense cooperation

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Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), July 12 (IANS): India and Kyrgyzstan on Sunday inked four agreements, including in defense cooperation and between their election commissions, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with President Almazbek Atambayev.

Visiting Bishkek, the penultimate stop of his tour of Central Asian countries, Modi in his media statement said his visit to all five countries in the region “demonstrates the importance that we attach to a new level of relationship with Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan is a key part of that vision”.

Modi said resource-rich Central Asia has an important place in India’s future and both sides seek a peaceful and secure neighborhood and have a shared interest in combating extremism and terrorism.

The agreement on defense cooperation was in matters relating to defense, security, military education and training, conduct of joint military exercises, exchange of experience, and information, exchange of military instructors and observers.

Modi said their defense ties were strong and the agreement would help to broaden their defense cooperation.

The Special Forces of the armed forces of the two countries held joint exercise “Khanjar 2015” in Kyrgyzstan in March, “which reflected continuity in exercises held in India in 2011. It was decided to hold joint exercises on an annual basis”, said the joint statement.

The Kyrgyz side expressed its appreciation to India for “training Kyrgyz military officers for conducting various UN Peacekeeping Courses, including by the Centre for UN Peacekeeping in New Delhi”, the statement said.

Modi said the IT Centre in the Kyrgyz Military Academy “is an example of innovative cooperation that is important to both countries” and the new agreement would provide a framework to broaden engagement.

Modi expressed happiness at the cooperation agreement between the election commissions, and said he looked forward to the visit of a Kyrgyz parliamentary delegation to India.

The other two agreements were a MoU between Kyrgyzstan’s economy ministry and the Bureau of Indian Standards on cooperation in the field of standards, and an agreement on cooperation in culture.

Modi said both sides discussed at length about boosting trade, investment, tourism, culture, and human resource development and added that the connectivity initiative between India and Central Asia will further boost economic ties.

Modi also thanked Kyrgyzstan for its support to India’s candidature for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat.

In the joint statement, India reaffirmed support of the candidacy of the Kyrgyz Republic for the UN Human Rights Council for 2016-2018.

Both sides expressed “grave concern at the rising trend of extremism, radicalism, and terrorism in the region and whole world” and India “highly appreciated the steps taken by the Kyrgyz government in counteracting terrorism and in retaining the secular character of Kyrgyz society”.

The two sides agreed to expeditiously consider signing an agreement on “combating international terrorism and other crimes”, the statement said.

They also agreed to boost economic, trade, and investment linkages which were below potential.

Modi also congratulated Atambaev on Kyrgyzstan’s joining the Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union and both Sides agreed to work together for early conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement between the Eurasia Economic Union and India, said the joint statement.

Modi said both sides would hold a roundtable in Bishkek in the field of agriculture to explore possible avenues for cooperation and identify concrete projects.

India has offered to share its experience in agro-processing, greenhouse technology, water conservation, and agricultural research with Kyrgyzstan.

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The joint statement also expressed satisfaction over “growing links in the health sector, including regular visits by doctors from super-specialty hospitals in India to Kyrgyzstan, visits of patients from Kyrgyzstan to India for medical treatment, complex surgery at affordable cost and international standards, and the gifting of a computed tomography machine to the National Center for Cardiology and Internal Medicine (NCCIM) by the government of India in September 2014”.

It also welcomed the launch of a project to establish tele-medicine links between highly specialized hospitals of India and six medical establishments of Kyrgyzstan.

At the lunch banquet, Atambayev said “India has a calling to become a great economic power like the US and China”.

Modi later met Kyrgyz parliament Speaker Asylbek Jeenbekov and also held talks with Prime Minister Temir Sariyev.

During his meeting with Sariyev, Modi gifted a medical equipment to Kyrgyzstan’s Level II Field Hospital.

He also visited the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre.

Modi gifted the president a hand-knotted carpet of very fine grade wool blended with silk.

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India, Canada Pledge To Fight Terrorism In All Forms

Modi and Trudeau also welcomed the agreement on a bilateral Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism that was signed between the two countries

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India Canada pledges to fight terrorism of all kinds together. Facebook
India Canada pledges to fight terrorism of all kinds together. Facebook
  • India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism in all its forms
  • Modi and Trudeau also agreed on the Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
  • Both the countries are looking forward to a cooperative future

India and Canada on Friday pledged to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations while declaring that no country should allow its territory to be used for terrorist and violent extremist activities.

The assertion by the two countries came in a joint statement issued after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau and assumes significance in the context of perceived softness on the part of Canada towards Khalistani separatists operating on its soil.

India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism together. www.affairscloud.com
India and Canada pledged to fight terrorism together. www.affairscloud.com

“Recognising that terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation to violence present acute challenges to global peace, stability and prosperity, the leaders resolved to combat terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations,” the joint statement said.

“They called for bringing terrorists to justice and holding accountable state sponsors of terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. They further emphasised that no country should allow its territory to be used for terrorist and violent extremist activities.”

Modi and Trudeau also welcomed the agreement on a bilateral Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism that was signed between the two countries.

The Framework recognised the urgent imperative to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-sponsored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent the supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalisation to violence.

The two sides emphasised the need to deny operating space to terrorist and violent extremist groups.

Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism was signed between the two countries. Wikimedia Commons
Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism was signed between the two countries. Wikimedia Commons

Under the Framework, both sides committed to further develop exchanges and facilitate effective cooperation in the fields of security, finance, justice, and law enforcement, including, where appropriate, at the operational level.

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It consists of institutionalised cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of India and the office of Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor, and regular exchanges and coordination between India and Canada, which will be guided by the joint National Security Advisors’ Dialogue.

The joint statement further said that to reaffirm the importance of lawful commerce and the freedom of navigation and over-flight throughout the Indo-Pacific region, in accordance with international law, including the rights and jurisdiction of states under UN Convention for Law of the Sea (Unclos), the two leaders supported bolstering regional connectivity through transparent development of infrastructure and use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law and environment.

Modi and Trudeau also expressed “strong concern” over the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and the recent political developments in the Maldives and their implications for free society.

The Two Countries will work together towards peace.
The Two Countries will work together towards peace.

On the economic side, both leaders agreed to realise the full potential of bilateral trade and investment and both sides will renew efforts to expand and diversify bilateral economic and commercial relations.

“They will also intensify negotiations to finalise a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement,” the statement said. Modi and Trudeau also agreed to strengthen bilateral and international cooperation to address climate change and secure a clean energy future and committed to promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

“The leaders welcomed the initiative to establish the (India-initiated) International Solar Alliance to promote renewable energy for sustainable development,” the statement said. “They urged research institutions and industry in both countries to collaborate to promote greater use of solar technology.”

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It stated that the two leaders “underscored the importance of accelerating the global transition to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources and acknowledged that renewable energy is a pathway to a low-carbon and more sustainable energy system”.

“Recognising the dynamic role of people-to-people ties in the India-Canada partnership, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to address consular issues of mutual concern through discussion between the concerned officials,” the statement said. “They welcomed the expansion of direct air connectivity between Indian and Canadian cities.” IANS