Madrid, May 31 (IANS) India and Spain on Wednesday committed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism calling it the gravest threat to international peace and stability.
A joint statement issued following a meeting here between visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy said both leaders “recognised that terrorism poses the gravest threat to international peace and stability and expressed their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.
“They stressed that there should be zero tolerance to terrorism and that there can be no justification whatsoever for any act of terror,” it stated.
“We reiterate that the fight against terrorism requires a robust international cooperation, and we call on all the states to fully implement SC (UN Security Council) Resolution 1373 and all other relevant SC Resolutions, by establishing strong legal provisions against terrorism, terrorist networks, incitement to terrorism and financing for terrorism, and by satisfying requests from other states for cooperation against terrorism.”
According to the statement, Modi and Rajoy “expressed their strong commitment to reinforce their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, through regular bilateral consultations and cooperation and in the international fora”.
The two leaders also called on the international community to end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism and in this regard jointly called for the early finalisation and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the UN General Assembly.
“They took note with satisfaction of the progress made on the negotiations for an agreement for bilateral cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, transnational organised crime, and traffic of illegal drugs, narcotics, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors, which will establish the grounds for an enhanced cooperation in these areas, and committed to complete negotiations by the end of 2017,” the statement said.
It stated that both leaders discussed the challenges present in cyberspace and committed to further their dialogue, both bilaterally, and through a closer coordination in the international fora.
Both countries underlined their unwavering commitment to the principles and objectives of the UN and its centrality in international affairs.
Both Modi and Rajoy also acknowledged the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, and shared their views on how to expand its membership to make it more representative of the contemporary geopolitical realities and effective, credible and responsive to the existing challenges to international peace and security.
The two leaders reiterated their commitment to the freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce based on the principles of international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
Both leaders also underlined the importance of European Union (EU)-India relations and the need to deepen the existing EU-India dialogues.
“They acknowledged the positive results of 2016 EU-India Summit in March 2016, which marked a new momentum in the EU-India relations,” the statement said.
“They addressed the shared interest of the two sides to further engage on the India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement and expressed the need to restart negotiations soon.”
According to the statement, during a meeting with Modi, CEOs of Spanish business and industry expressed strong support for the economic reforms in India and highlighted their keen interest to participate actively in flagship programmes like Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Start-up India and Skill India.
Rajoy congratulated Modi on India’s fast economic growth and the Indian government’s various measures to improve ease of doing business and boost manufacturing growth.
On his part, Modi complimented Rajoy on the turnaround and growth of the Spanish economy and the good prospects in the coming years and the transformation of Spain into an open, competitive, export and quality oriented economy.
“Both leaders agreed on the need to preserve and further develop open trade and a business friendly investment scenario in both countries, and considered that policies towards protectionism may weaken international trade and have a negative impact in global economy,” the joint statement said.
Stating that climate action was a key priority for both India and Spain, it stated: “The two leaders reiterated their commitment to implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.”