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India Calls for Unified Action Against Terrorism
By Sudeshna Sarkar | Web Exclusive

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson at India's Ministry of External Affairs, holds a press conference after Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met as part of the BRICS' informal talks ahead of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on September 4 (SUDESHNA SARKAR)

As Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met as part of the BRICS' informal talks ahead of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou on September 4, Modi repeatedly expressed serious concern over the expansion of terrorism, asking for a unified approach to counter the phenomenon.

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson at India's Ministry of External Affairs, held a press conference after the meeting, saying it was a cordial meeting and that it was significant that Modi was the first world leader Xi met.

Xi remarked that it was his eighth meeting with Modi.

Modi condemned the car bomb attack at the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek last month, calling it yet another proof that terrorism had become a scourge. It was important for all democratic forces to come together to combat it and the united opposition should not be motivated by political considerations, he said.

The Indian Prime Minister also said the war on terrorism should include identifying the "supporters, exporters and financiers of terrorism."

India, which has suffered terror attacks on its parliament and financial capital Mumbai, underscored its concern by raising the issue at a subsequent meeting as well.

Modi met Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after the BRICS meeting, where he called terrorism the primary source of instability. He also expressed concern at the misuse of the social media to promote terrorism.

Regarding the G20 Summit, Modi congratulated Xi on the excellent arrangements and expressed the confidence that it will be very successful.

Turning to bilateral relations, he said in order to make the Asian century a reality, the countries of Asia would have to take responsibility. In the context of India and China, he said, "Our peoples also have the expectations that we make every possible effort to fulfil their dreams of progress, development and prosperity."

The India-China partnership, he said, is important not only for the two countries but for the entire region and the world. Both countries, he felt, would have to be sensitive to each other's strategic interests and to promote positive convergences, and would also need to prevent growth of negative perceptions. "For this, specific actions by both countries would play a major role," he said.

The Indian Prime Minister said India has worked to make progress in the close developmental partnership with China. It has succeeded in maintaining peace and tranquillity on the border, and cultural and people-to-people ties have also increased. "To ensure durable bilateral ties and their steady development, it is of paramount importance that we respect each other's aspirations, concerns and strategic interests," he said.

The spokesperson said with India becoming the new BRICS chair, Modi had personally invited Xi to come to Goa in India where the BRICS Summit would be held in October and Xi said he was happy to accept the invitation.

(Reporting from Hangzhou)

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