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India, Malaysia ink seven pacts; vow to strengthen strategic, trade ties

India and Malaysia on Saturday agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership to counter-terrorism during a meeting between PM Modi and Malaysian PM Razak.
India TV News Desk New Delhi April 01, 2017 23:09 IST
India TV News Desk

India and Malaysia on Saturday agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership to counter-terrorism and said that the fight against menace should go beyond eliminating terrorists and terror networs to take tough action against states which sponsor terror group and glorify terrorism.

"Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and stability in the region" and "there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs," said the Joint Statement after Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Najib Razak held talks along with their delegations.

Modi and Razak held a one-on-one meeting ahead of the delegation-level talks.

The two countries inked seven pacts, including an air services agreement and a mutual recognition of educational qualifications of the two nations, in the presence Modi and Razak.

"I would like more Indians to visit Malaysia and I have informed the Prime Minister that we have decided to allow no visa fee, online application approval within 48 hours and multiple entry to be accorded for Indian nationals," Najib said. 

Apart from the air services agreement, the two nations signed an MoU on cooperation in the development of the proposed 2.5 MT per annum urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia. 

India has also proposed to offtake the existing surplus urea from Malaysia. 

Agreements were also inked for cooperation in the field of sports and mutual recognition of the educational qualifications of the two nations. 

A pact was also inked wherein Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad will carry out training and other capacity building programmes on behalf of the Human Resource Development, Malaysia. 

An agreement was also signed for technology development in the field of palm oil and implementation of fourth generation technology park in Andhra Pradesh. 

India, Malaysia vow to strengthen strategic, trade ties 

Asserting that there is no justification for acts of terror on any grounds, India and Malaysia today agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership to counter-terrorism and extremism during the talks between their prime ministers. 

The wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak also encompassed trade ties.
 
Affirming their strong commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the two leaders stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and condemned in the "strongest terms" the recent barbaric terror attacks in the region, a joint statement after the talks said. 

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, it said, "The fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against States, which encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues." 

Though the document did not name Pakistan, it said there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs.

This assumes significance given that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hailed Burhan Wani, a Hizbul commander who was killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir last year, as a "martyr". 

Later, addressing a joint press event with Najib, Modi said,"To secure our societies, and for the greater regional good, we have agreed to further strengthen our strategic partnership to shape an effective response to our common concerns and challenges." 

Modi also said the two sides were conscious of their role and responsibility in promoting economic prosperity, freedom of navigation, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, especially its oceans. 

On his part, Najib said Modi was specifically interested in knowing about the success of Malaysia's de-radicalisation programme and he presented the Indian leader a book on the specific module dealing with it apart from offering to extend his country's expertise in the area. 

"We are willing to work closely together with the Indian government for special conference that will be held in near future and we will provide our experience and with our partners to make sure Malaysia and other parts of the world will never be a place in which militancy and extremism will take root," Najib said. 

The visiting dignitary also asserted that defence and strategic partnership will be "very important to us to fight global terrorism, militancy, extremism and that includes our fight against IS and against any form of extremism". 

"For this, we will enhance our cooperation," he said. 

After the talks between Modi and Najib, the two sides inked seven pacts, including those related to air services and cooperation in development of a fertiliser plant in Malaysia with off-take of surplus urea by India. 

While seeking to deepen the engagement between the two countries, Najib maintained the bilateral ties have not yet realised their full potential and hoped these pacts will boost the engagement in various sectors. 

On economic ties, Modi said the two countries have built a thriving economic partnership. 

"In our efforts to scale this up, as the fastest growing large economy in the world, India offers unparalleled opportunities. And, to build new avenues of prosperity in our societies, we are ready to expand trade and capital flows between our two economies," he said, identifying infrastructure as one of the key sectors for investment.

The two sides emphasised on the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, and expressed their determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations. 

According to External Affairs Ministry, during Najib's six-day visit, projects worth USD five billion are expected to be discussed apart from inking of more than a dozen business deals. 

Malaysia wants to raise ties with India to new heights: Najib

Malaysia wants bilateral trade with India to touch USD 15 billion by 2020, visiting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said here today.

In his interaction with President Pranab Mukherjee during the welcome ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Najib, who is on a six-day visit, said India has always supported Malaysia in difficult times and his country wants to raise their relations to "new heights".

Welcoming the dignitary, Mukherjee said the two countries have taken their strategic partnership forward, particularly after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Malaysia in November 2015.

There is considerable potential for Indo-Malaysia collaboration in defence production, Mukherjee said.

He said relations between India and Malaysia are centuries old and are "the best ever so far".

Reciprocating the sentiments, the visiting Prime Minster said the relations between India and Malaysia are multi-dimensional.

"The two countries can collaborate in a wide variety of fields. Malaysia would like to achieve target of USD 15 billion bilateral trade by 2020," he said.

Malaysia is India's third largest trading partner in ASEAN. Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India stood at USS12.8 billion in 2015-16, as against USD 16.9 billion in 2014-15.

The President said the visit is taking place as the two countries are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.

"While our relations are historic, we have been able to make significant strides in the last 10 years," he said.

Mukherjee said commercial and investment relations have become the mainstay of India-Malaysia relations.

"There is also considerable potential for collaboration in defence production especially under the Make in India initiative," he said as he thanked Malaysia for the close cooperation on counter-terrorism.

The Malaysian Premier inspected the Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

He had arrived in India on March 30. In the first leg of his visit, Najib went to Chennai, where he interacted with Malaysian students and met Tamil megastar Rajinikanth.

Najib met Vice President Hamid Ansari today.

He will visit Jaipur during his stay in India.