India, Arab League vow to deepen cooperation in counter terrorism


PTI, Jan 13, 2021, 8:45 AM IST

New Delhi: India and Arab League states on Tuesday vowed to boost trade and investment, and also stressed the need for deepening cooperation in combating terrorism as well as in ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security.

The third Senior Officials Meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum took place via video conference and was co-chaired by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV&OIA), and Ambassador Mohamed Abu Al-Kheir, Assistant Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the League of Arab States.

The senior officials recalled the historic and civilizational ties that exist between the Arab World and India and underlined the contribution of the commercial and cultural ties to binding the two sides together, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

They hailed the strong foundation, great potential and wide-ranging prospect for Arab-India cooperation, and the role that the Forum can play to advance Arab-India relations towards capacious horizons.

The senior officials discussed issues of mutual concern on both regional and international levels, emphasising the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination mechanisms between the two sides, in a way that serves mutual interests and maintains regional and international peace and security, the MEA said.

In this regard, they reiterated the need for political solutions to regional issues and crises in the Middle East, according to relevant international legitimacy resolutions and relevant agreements and references, particularly the Palestinian issue, the crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The officials underscored the need for cooperation in combating terrorism and ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security, according to the principles of international law, the MEA said.

They stressed that the exceptional circumstances and unprecedented challenges that the world faces due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic require the need to strengthen international and regional cooperation to confront the consequences of this pandemic, including in areas of conflict and crises.

In that context, they discussed ongoing collaboration between India and the Arab states in the fields of diagnostics and treatment, and exchanged views on respective national approaches to post-COVID economic recovery, the MEA said.

The Arab side congratulated India on its election as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term (2021-2022), while looking forward to India”s continuing pivotal role at the international stage, particularly with regard to regional issues of mutual concern, the statement said.

The senior officials also discussed ways and means to enhance cooperation in the framework of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum, including in the fields of economy, trade and investment, energy and environment, agriculture and food security, tourism and culture, human resources development, education and health care, science and technology, and media.

They agreed on the early scheduling of the joint activities of the Forum, including the third session of Arab-India Cultural Festival, the symposium on Arab-India cooperation in the field of energy, the first Arab-India University Presidents Conference, the second symposium on Arab-India cooperation in the field of media, and the sixth Session of Arab-India Partnership Conference, the MEA said.

They looked forward to holding the second Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum, in India, at a convenient date for both sides, it said.

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