Pitching for united global action to deal with terrorism, India and the Netherlands on Thursday asked all countries to work towards rooting out terror networks, disrupting their financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
The issue figured prominently during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte as both leaders affirmed that terrorism cannot be justified on any ground and should not be associated with any religion, creed, nationality or ethnicity. In a joint statement, the two countries named Pakistan based terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayabba along with Al Qaeda, Daesh/ISIS which are threatening peace and security in South Asia and Europe.
It said Modi and Rutte also called for an early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations as an instrument for a global alliance of nations against terrorism. "The leaders called upon all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists including foreign fighters," the statement said.
The Netherlands reaffirmed its strong support to building consensus among members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group for India's bid for membership of grouping, the statement added. During their extensive talks, both the countries also decided to step up their cooperation in a range of areas including in trade and investment, security, cyber space and agriculture. In his media statement, Modi said there is huge scope for ramping up trade ties between the two countries and talked about economic reforms being undertaken by his government to promote growth. "I am strongly committed towards economic reforms," he said.
The Netherlands reaffirmed its strong support to building consensus among regimes' members on the issue of India's membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the statement added. After the talks, Rutte signed the framework agreement for the International Solar Alliance, making the Netherlands the 64th country to be part of the India-promoted initiative. Reflecting the growing strategic trust between the two countries, the leaders also noted the progress made by both sides in finalising the text of the agreement on mutual protection of classified information in the field of defence. On the trade front, the two leaders underlined the significant role that Netherlands can play as India's "Gateway to Europe".
India is the fifth largest source of FDI into the Netherlands and the Netherlands is the fourth largest source of FDI for India. "Both sides also agreed to consider putting in place a reciprocal fast track mechanism to resolve issues confronted by businesses and to promote greater two-way bilateral investments," said the joint statement. Modi and Rutte expressed support to "re-engage" actively towards timely re-launching of negotiations for a comprehensive and mutually beneficial EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), the joint statement said.
The negotiations between the two sides are stalled due to differences on a range of sticky issues. According to the statement, Modi and Rutte also called for responsible and calibrated monetary policies to improve the global economic and financial governance architecture. "The leaders reaffirmed the crucial role of the rules-based multilateral trading system, and the importance of enhancing free, fair, and open trade for achieving sustainable growth and development," it said.
On security cooperation, both sides agreed to deepen and enhance the scope of ongoing bilateral dialogues on security issues and to hold the next round of counter terrorism dialogue in the Hague in the second-half of 2018. "We had very productive talks today about the political situation in the region, the European Union, discussing our bilateral economic relationship," Rutte said in his press statement. The two sides announced a wide range of MoUs and initiatives across different sectors including in areas of agri-food and horticulture, IT, space, life sciences, health, and smart cities. "The two countries are working very closely in many areas on the economic and political side. We are a much smaller country but the friendship and cooperation is intense at the moment," Rutte said. A 200-member strong business delegation is accompanying Rutte besides four cabinet ministers.
Earlier in the day, Modi and Rutte attended a meeting of top CEOs. Rutte said the business community explored opportunities in areas of clean air, Ganga rejuvenation and projects related to smart cities. There was a visible bonhomie between the two leaders as Rutte referred to Modi as "Dear Narendra" and Modi addressed the Dutch prime minister as "My friend Mark" "Be it on the phone, if there is friendship, it is always good to talk and build on that friendship," Rutte said.