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 India and the Maldives on Thursday agreed to strengthen capacity building for security and stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation to combat terrorism in a  comprehensive and sustained manner. 

At the first meeting of the India-Maldives Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, the two sides reviewed threats posed by terrorist entities that are under UN sanctions and emphasized the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks. 

They underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate,  sustained, verifiable, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks on others and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks," said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

The two sides also exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism including countering radicalization and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism,  information sharing, capacity building and establishing institutional linkages between police, security forces, Customs, Immigration and other relevant agencies.

Further, they exchanged views on enhancing bilateral cooperation against narcotics and drug trafficking. 

MEA said the discussions were informed by the challenges that the COVID-19  pandemic has presented to countering terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism.

Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation that will include assistance and capacity building for the security and law enforcement agencies and other relevant agencies of the Maldives as well as collaboration and the exchange of best practices in the areas of counter-terrorism, preventing and countering of violent extremism and de-radicalization," it said.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora.

India and the Maldives strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including cross-border terrorism and emphasized the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a  comprehensive and sustained manner. Both sides reviewed threats posed by terrorist entities that are under UN sanctions and emphasized the need for concerted action against all terrorist networks. They underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate,  sustained, verifiable, and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks on others and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks.

Referring to the Joint Statement issued during the State Visit of Prime  Minister Modi to the Maldives in June 2019, the two sides recognized the critical threats that terrorism, violent extremism, and radicalization pose to peace and security in the region. India appreciated the clear-eyed stance taken by the Government of President  Solih to counter such threats and the concrete steps taken by the  Maldives in this regard.

The Indian side was led by Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Vikas Swarup, and the Maldivian side was led by Foreign Secretary Abdul Ghafoor  Mohamed. 
            
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