India, Maldives Agree To Strengthen Counter-Terror Mechanism
(This was originally posted in Economic Times by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury)
India and Maldives on Thursday decided to enhance capacity-building mechanisms to counter-terror as well as collaboration to counter violent extremism and de-radicalization.
The two 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 violent extremism and de-radicalization, according to an official statement issued after the first meeting of India-Maldives Joint Working Group on ‘Counter-Terrorism, Countering Violent Extremism and De-Radicalisation’.
The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora. The Indian side was led by MEA Secretary (West), Vikas Swarup, and the Maldivian side was led by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed. “India and the Maldives strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and emphasized the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner. Both sides reviewed threats posed by terrorist entities that are under UN sanctions and emphasized the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks. They underlined 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 and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks,” the statement noted.
The two sides also exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism including countering radicalization and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism, information sharing, capacity building, and establishing institutional linkages between police, security forces, Customs, Immigration, and other relevant agencies. Further, the two sides exchanged views on enhancing bilateral cooperation against narcotics and drug trafficking. The discussions were also informed by the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to countering terrorism, radicalization, and violent extremism.