Vientiane (Laos), July 25 (ANI
): India has emphasised on the construction of a strong international legal regime, built on the principle of 'zero tolerance' for direct or indirect support to terrorism, adopting an 'extradite or prosecute' standard and ensuring obligatory collaboration by countries in the investigation of terrorism-related cases.
Delivering closing remarks at the 14th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting here on Monday, Minister of State for External Affairs
Dr. V.K. Singh
said, "Countering terrorism is an imperative in the face of rising terrorist attacks across the globe, including in our region notably in Jakarta, Bangkok, Pathankot, Dhaka and Kabul in recent times.
"And thus, deepening of security cooperation must be based on an outright rejection of state sponsored terrorism, isolating those who harbour, support or sponsor terrorists, and bringing the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors to speedy justice."
Asserting that today's realities warrant that nations act for urgent finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations, Gen. Singh urged ASEAN countries to support early adoption of the Convention.
He also expressed India's willingness to host an ASEAN-India Conference on preventing radicalisation and promoting de-radicalisation to share India's experience and benefit from the experience of ASEAN countries, notably Malaysia, in this important area.
In addition, India will co-cost with Indonesia, an ARF inter-sessional meeting on counter-terrorism, he added.
Underlining that the sea lanes of communication passing through the South China Sea are critical for peace, stability, prosperity and development, the minister said, "In the context of the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the 1982 UNCLOS in the matter concerning the Philippines and China, India, as a State Party to the UNCLOS, urges all parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which is the foundation of the international legal order of the seas and oceans."
Talking about the International Tribunal's decision regarding the South China Sea, he said, "Like several ASEAN countries, India too has respected the decision of the International Tribunal to resolve maritime disputes with its neighbours peacefully. India believes that states should resolve disputes through peaceful means, without threat or use of force, and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability."
Gen. Singh also expressed his happiness over the Foreign Ministers' Meeting agreeing on holding a variety of commemorative activities on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in 2017 across the three pillars of politico-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation. "The activities are ambitious, practical and designed to strengthen and showcase the deep bonds that we have forged in our strategic partnership. We should now work assiduously to make this project a resounding success," he added.
Noting that politico-security cooperation between ASEAN and India is on the upswing, Dr. Singh said, "Reflecting our commitment to strengthen cooperation to effectively deal with traditional and non-traditional security challenges, the first G-2-G ASEAN-India Cyber Dialogue would be held in India in August 2016. We have also offered ASEAN countries a 'specialised programme on reducing cyber crime through knowledge exchange and capacity building' and a seminar on 'e-governance', as joint activities under ICT cooperation."
"To enhance our cooperation in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), said Singh, "we have offered utilisation of the ASEAN-India Innovation Platform for the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management Work Plan 2016-20 and the ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management, where innovation is a key requirement. India will also be hosting the first Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction at New Delhi in November 2016 and I invite your countries' active participation in it."
Talking about the economic sphere, he said he was happy that the ASEAN-India Trade Negotiation Committee was working to review the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement in order to realise the full potential of the ASEAN India Free Trade Area. "I am also confident that the ASEAN-India Economic Ministers' Meeting and the RCEP Ministerial meeting scheduled in early August will pave the way for smoother and deeper economic engagement, to the satisfaction of all parties. We hope that negotiations on Goods, Services & Investment will move at an equal pace in RCEP," he added.
Expressing India's commitment in its support for implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity as well as and the Post-2015 Agenda for ASEAN Connectivity, Singh said, "India remains committed in its support for implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity as well as and the Post-2015 Agenda for ASEAN Connectivity.
"Even as we work assiduously to enhance our physical connectivity and explore the extension of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway into Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, I urge Thailand and Myanmar to join hands and find creative solutions for the early conclusion of the Motor Vehicles Agreement and I would also like to invite ASEAN countries to participate in the Sittwe Economic Zone."
He said India looks forward to pursue energy security, production and use of renewable and alternative energy sources with ASEAN member states, including promoting private sector engagement in the development and utilisation of renewable and alternative energy sources through institutional capacity building. "In this regard, we will be training 100 ASEAN personnel in Solar Technology, Wind Energy and Bio-Energy at the earliest," he added. (ANI