Monday, May 29, 2023

Will deepen defence cooperation with Malaysia: Modi


Kuala Lumpur (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that India will deepen its defence cooperation with Malaysia.

�I am particularly grateful to you for our security cooperation,� Modi said at a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak after bilateral talks between the two sides.

�It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area,� he said on the third day of his visit to Malaysia that marked the beginning of the bilateral phase.

Modi attended the 13th Asean (Association of SoutheastAsian Nations)-India Summit on Saturday and the 10th East Asia Summit on Sunday here.

He said the recent spate of attacks in different countries, apart from the �ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan�, were a reminder of the global nature of this threat.

�We will also make our defence cooperation stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in our region,� the Indian prime minister said.

Modi complimented Razak for providing leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion, and in highlighting the real values of Islam.

He also said that the agreement to cooperate in cyber-security between the two countries was very important.

�As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age,� he stated.

The Indian prime minister also called for scaling up trade and investment relations with Malaysia.

�We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-Asean agreements,� he said, adding that he hoped for an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

�Malaysian competence in infrastructure is well known. Malaysia has completed several important projects, including in the road sector, in India,� Modi said.

�I expressed our desire to see enhanced Malaysian participation in areas such as expansion and upgrading of infrastructure, ‘Make in India’, and smart cities projects.�

Noting that Indian companies have a strong presence in Malaysia, Modi said: �Ircon is contributing to development of rail infrastructure here. We want to raise the level of Indian presence in the Malaysian economy.�

He said that both he and Razak were �determined to explore steps to show concrete and early results�.

Modi also said that India and Malaysia would expand cooperation in public administration and governance.

�We will place special emphasis on cultural and people-to-people ties,� he added.

In an address to the Indian diaspora here on Sunday, Modi lavished praise on the accomplishments across various fields by Malay-Indians.

Of Malaysia’s total population of 30 million , around two million are people of Indian origin.

Earlier on Monday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome and guard of honour at Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia, where he was greeted with a hug by Razak.

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