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India, Mongolia call for credible steps to eliminate terrorist safe havens

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: September 20, 2019  | 23:01 IST

New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) Vowing to eliminate terrorism, India and Mongolia on Friday urged the international community to strengthen efforts to counter terror financing and called for credible steps to eliminate safe havens for terrorists. The strong resolve against terrorism was made during talks Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga had with his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the talks, the two countries acknowledged that there was considerable untapped potential for further development of bilateral trade and investment, especially in the field of agricultural commodities, dairy products and animal husbandry, mining, information technology, pharmaceuticals and tourism. The Mongolian side appreciated significant progress made in the implementation of the 'Mongol Refinery Project' under a USD 1 billion Line of Credit (LoC) extended by the Indian government, said a joint statement issued after the meetings the Mongolian President had with Kovind, Modi and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu. The Indian side also approved a request from Mongolia to extend an additional LoC of USD 236 million for the project, taking the Indian government's total commitment for the project to USD 1.236 billion. During the Mongolian leader's visit here, four MoUs or documents were signed by the two sides in the fields of culture, disaster management and disaster risk reduction, use of outer space for peaceful and civilian purposes, as well as animal health and dairy. During the talks, the Mongolian side conveyed its decision to join the International Solar Alliance, strengthening India's ongoing efforts to promote renewable energy, and reiterated its support for New Delhi's candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council, a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said. Reciprocating India's gesture of exploring the e-visa scheme for Mongolian short-term travellers, Mongolia announced a visa-on-arrival scheme for short-term travellers from India, it said. During the talks, both sides noted the convergence of views between the two countries on important global and regional security issues and reaffirmed that they will continue the tradition of coordination and support for each other in regional and multilateral forums. The two countries reiterated support for the ongoing reforms of the United Nations and its principal organs with a view to making the institution more democratic, representative, transparent and efficient, the joint statement said. Recognising that extremism and terrorism posed a grave threat to entire humanity, both sides reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism. The two sides reaffirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds whatsoever and it should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality and ethnicity. India and Mongolia also reiterated their strong determination to eliminate terrorism wherever it is to be found and urged the international community to strengthen the efforts to counter and prevent terrorist financing and agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens for terrorists and their activities, the statement said. India and Mongolia also reiterated their commitment to work towards the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. During talks between the Mongolian President and India's top leadership, both sides stressed the critical need for enhancing the anti-terrorism and anti-organised crime capacity of developing countries in collaboration with the international community with a view to effectively addressing terrorism and violent extremism challenges. The Indian side explained its "Indo-Pacific Vision", and underlined that it was an endeavour to create an open, free and inclusive architecture in the Indo-Pacific region through inclusive and collective efforts. The Mongolian side expressed its support to the "Indo-Pacific Vision" with a view that it aimed at bringing stability and prosperity across the region through inclusive and collective efforts so that all nations are able to pursue economic growth. The leaders from the two countries also reviewed the progress of cooperation in areas of national security, defence and border protection, especially since the upgradation of the relations to the level of a strategic partnership. President Battulga, during the visit, is accompanied by Mongolian Foreign Minister Damdin Tsogtbaatar, Mongolian Minister of Road and Transport Development Byambasuren Enkhamgalan, other senior officials, as well as a a 25-member business delegation. Besides his official engagements here, Battulga will also travel to Agra, Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Bengaluru during his stay in India till September 23. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi and President Battulga jointly unveiled a Buddha statue, which has been gifted by India to the Gandan Monastery in Ulaanbaatar. Modi also gifted Battulga a 'Kalash' of Gangajal to be poured in the 'Ganganuur' lake of Mongolia. According to a Mongolian legend, one of the Buddhist monks from India had carried sacred water from the Ganga river and poured it into a lake which led to this lake being named 'Ganganuur'. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also called on the visiting Mongolian leader. PTI ASK KJ

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