Thursday, January 27, 2022

India, France discuss Afghanistan, threats from terror groups

New Delhi: India and France have discussed threats emanating from the UN sanctioned terror outfits on their respective territories and ways to ensure that Afghan territory is not used by ultras for radicalisation and terrorism, and is never again used to recruit or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021).

During the 15th Meeting of their Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism in Paris on Tuesday, both the sides stressed on the need for all the countries to ensure that territories that are under their control cannot be used to plan, launch terrorist attacks against any other country, shelter or train terrorist fighters.

They also exchanged views on threats posed by UN sanctioned terrorist entities and individuals and emphasised the need for taking concerted action against all terrorist networks including Al Qaeda and Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizbul Mujahideen including making sure that perpetrators of terrorist attacks are systematically and expeditiously brought to justice.

Views on various areas of cooperation in counter-terrorism, countering illegal narcotic drugs and arms smuggling were also exchanged with the nations expressing their willingness to continue sharing information on countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating financing of terrorism and preventing misuse of the Internet for terrorist.

During the meeting, both the nations deliberated on various areas of cooperation in counter-terrorism, countering illegal narcotic drugs and arms smuggling, and expressed their will to keep sharing information on countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating financing of terrorism and preventing misuse of the Internet for terrorist.

Held in a month that marks both the 13th anniversary of the November 2008 attacks in Bombay and the six-year-anniversary of the November 2015 attacks in Paris, the meeting allowed France and India to express solidarity to all the victims, reaffirm their unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross border terrorism, and share their resolve to stand together in the common fight against global terrorism.

The two sides also discussed counter-terrorism cooperation in multilateral fora, including in the UN, building-up upon India’s membership of the Security Council for the 2021-2022 biennium, and the international watch dog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and ways to further enhance this cooperation. They recalled their willingness to coordinate actively in view of the preparation of the third edition of the “No Money for Terror international Conference” to be organised by India.

India’s Joint Secretary (Counter Terrorism) at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Mahaveer Singhvi and Director for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Philippe Bertoux led respective inter-Agency delegations in discussing the ongoing counter-terrorism cooperation as a corner stone of the strategic partnership between the two countries, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Next meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism shall be held in India in 2022 on a mutually convenient date, the meeting decided.

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