India and Maldives on Thursday held the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and De-Radicalisation, wherein they both emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner.
According to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the meeting was held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere that symbolised the India-Maldives ties and the energy, ambition and scale acquired by the bilateral relations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Both sides strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and mfestations including cross-border terrorism and emphasised the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner.
They also stressed the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks and underlines the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks on others.
The two sides also recognised the critical threats that terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation pose to peace and security in the region. The Indian delegation led by MEA Secretary (West) Vikas Swarup appreciated the clear-eyed stance taken by the Government of President Solih to counter such threats and the concrete steps taken by the Maldives in this regard, according to the MEA.
India and Maldives also exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism including countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and more, while also discussing bilateral cooperation against narcotics and drug trafficking.
Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation that will include assistance and capacity building for the security and law enforcement agencies and other relevant agencies of the Maldives as well as collaboration and the exchange of best practices in the areas of counter-terrorism, preventing and countering of violent extremism and de-radicalisation.
According to MEA, the Maldivian delegation, led by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, will also visit the training facilities of the National Security Guard and the Bureau of Police Research and Development during its stay in New Delhi.
( With inputs from ANI )
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