India, Malaysia to deepen defence cooperation

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 23 (IANS) India and Malaysia on Monday agreed to deepen military exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels.

This was announced in a joint statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership issued after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.

Modi ended his Malaysia visit on Monday and then headed to Singapore.

The defence exchanges will be between the defence ministers, senior defence officials, chiefs of the armed services and through Service-to-Service Staff Talks, the statement said.

The two countries also agreed to convene the next India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation Meeting at the level of defence secretary and secretary general.

They also decided to promote joint collaboration on projects of mutual interest in the defence sector including in the areas of defence equipment and industry, research, training and capacity building.

The two sides also “agreed to set up the SU-30 Forum for cooperation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues, building on the assistance by India for successful completion of the SU 30 MKM training programme by Indian pilots in Malaysia”, the statement said.

The statement said the two countries will institute annual talks between the heads of the Indian Coast Guard and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Both countries expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

They called upon all states to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

In this context, they welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this direction.

They agreed to continue sharing information and best practices to address the challenges posed by terrorism as well as other traditional and non-traditional threats.

India and Malaysia also agreed to discuss further with a view to conclude the signing of a MoU on transfer of sentenced prisoners to each other’s prisons.

Both countries also reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and to deepen and widen their economic engagement, which has emerged as an important fulcrum of the strategic partnership.

The two sides agreed “to promote joint collaboration, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors, and to facilitate joint projects and collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries, in line with the new developmental and business initiatives undertaken by India, such as the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill Development that offered significant investment opportunities for Malaysian businesses”, the statement said.

“The prime minister of India conveyed the steps being taken by the government of India to provide a conducive environment for investors, and invited Malaysian investors to participate in economic activities for the mutual benefits of both countries,” it added.

Malaysia and India also agreed to greater coopreration on traditional systems of medicine.

“Recognising the need to promote greater cooperation between the two countries in Ayurveda and other Indian systems of traditional medicine, Malaysia welcomed the deputation of an Ayurveda practitioner and two therapists from India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme,” the statement said.

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