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India, Chile agree to strengthen global response to destroy terrorism

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 2, 2019  | 15:43 IST

Santiago, Apr 2 (PTI) India and Chile have agreed to work together to strengthen the global response to defeat and destroy terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as President Ram Nath Kovind held wide ranging discussions with his Chilean counterpart on matters of mutual interest, including cooperation in defence sector. The two sides signed three MoUs in the fields of mining, culture and disability during Kovind's visit here. Kovind arrived here on Sunday on the last leg of his three nation tour that also took him to Bolivia and Croatia. President Kovind discussed wide ranging issues of mutual interest with his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera on Monday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. "We exchanged views and assessments of our respective neighbourhoods and regions," Kovind said. Thanking Pinera for his strong condemnation of the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, the President said India and Chile have agreed to work together to strengthen the global response to defeat and destroy terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and hold those responsible, accountable for their brutality against humanity. They also called upon all countries to work towards eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels. They emphasized the need for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and extremism, including through increased sharing of information to combat terrorism, also bilaterally, a joint statement said. Both leaders expressed the importance of early finalisation of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), the statement said. India offered training slots to Chilean armed forces in the premier defence institutions including for courses in mountain warfare and peacekeeping. The two countries also agreed to explore opportunities for other cooperation in the defence sector. "The two countries should also seize the opportunity to jointly manufacture defence equipment," Kovind said. Noting that the bilateral relations between India and Chile are on an "upward curve", Kovind said, "Today we have signed three MoUs in the fields of mining, culture and disability. These would further enhance our engagement in economic, social and cultural fields." Chile is the sixth largest trading partner of India in the Latin American region. The bilateral trade between the two nations registered an impressive increase of 50 per cent in 2017-18, to reach USD 2.8 billion. Kovind said he is hopeful that the India-Chile Preferential Trade Agreement with increased tariff lines would further contribute towards enhancement of bilateral trade. The President invited Chilean companies to invest in Indian mining, infrastructure, defence and food processing sectors under 'Make in India', 'Smart Cities' and 'Digital India' programmes. "Given our commitment to environment and sustainability, India is particularly keen to strengthen lithium partnership with Chile...Indian companies are also eager to strengthen their presence in Chile especially in IT, pharma, automobiles and mining sectors," Kovind said. He also said that India look forward to work with Chile to promote solar energy worldwide and enhance global action to combat climate change as both the countries are partners in the International Solar Alliance. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reformed multilateralism and for comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council, including its expansion in both permanent and non-Permanent categories of membership to make it more representative, accountable, transparent, inclusive and effective, reflecting the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century. The Chilean side reiterated its support for India's candidature for a permanent membership in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council, while reaffirming its support for India’s candidacy as non-permanent member for the term 2021 – 2022. On the other hand, India reiterated its endorsement of Chile’s candidacy to the same body for the term 2029 – 2030, the joint statement said. The President also welcomed Chile's decision to allow visa-free entry to Indian nationals holding a valid US visa, saying the step would promote both cultural and business ties between the two countries. Earlier, Kovind reviewed the Guard of Honour along with Pinera at the Presidential Palace 'La Moneda' here. The president laid a wreath at Monument of General Bernardo O' Higgins, who struggled for Chile's independence from Spain. PTI SCY NSA

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