EU working to strengthen partnership with India in combating terrorism: Envoy

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Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) Condemning the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel, Ambassador of the European Union to India, Tomasz Kozlowski on Friday said the EU will continue to strengthen its cooperation with India in combating all sorts of terrorism.

The envoy noted that EU is in “constant contact” with the Indian government to provide it support in the current situation.

Referring to the joint declaration by India and the EU on counter-terrorism in 2017, he said the two parties prepared a list of terrorist outfits including the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which has claimed the February 14 attack in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The EU came out with very strong statements of condemnation of the terrorist attack. As a partner of India, we reaffirm our solidarity at this difficult moment. The EU stands by India in fighting terrorism and will continue to strengthen its cooperation in this regard. We are with India in combating any sort of terrorism,” Kozlowski told reporters here.

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“We are very much in touch with the Indian government and discussing how we can support India on these issues. The practical means and tools are being discussed,” he said.

He said the EU has opened a dialogue with a number of countries including Pakistan regarding its alleged role in terror funding and has made its stand on terrorism clear to them.

“We have developed dialogue (with Pakistan) and we can assure you that through such dialogues we convey messages to them and certain other countries regarding our position on terrorism,” the envoy said.

When asked about the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) decision on Friday to keep Pakistan in the ‘grey list’ for now, despite New Delhi’s push to blacklist the neighbour over terror funding, he said it has been done as the action plan recommended by the EU on Pakistan will be reviewed by the FATF in May this year.

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“I have learnt that it was decided that the review of the recommendation of the plan will happen in May this year. Let’s see what will happen in the UN. At the moment, we in EU are working on our autonomous terrorist list,” he said.

He also noted that the name of JeM founder Masood Azhar is not yet in the global terrorist list but said the UK and France, who are members of the UN Security Council, have already begun attempts to put Azhar in the list.

“There have been cooperative efforts between India and EU in listing terrorist entities and organisations. We have launched cooperation in counter radicalisation,” he added.

–IANS

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