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BIMSTEC nations must collectively combat terrorism, violent extremism: Jaishankar

The Indian minister called on the BIMSTEC countries to accelerate their efforts to boost intra BIMSTEC trade and economic ties.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today called upon the BIMSTEC nations to collectively fight terrorism and violent extremism as also transnational crimes, narco-trafficking and cyber-attacks which affected their economic development efforts.

“We need to put in place the remaining elements of the legal architecture that will enable our law enforcement agencies to collaborate more closely and more effectively,” he said at the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Trade and Economic Cooperation)ministerial meeting. The BIMSTEC is a regional multilateral organisation that brings together Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Noting that the international system was going through a very challenging phase, Jaishankar said the challenges of Covid -19 pandemic have not yet fully abated. “But recent developments in Ukraine have added to international disquiet. We have all underscored that the maintenance of international peace and security, and even stability can no longer be taken for granted,” he added.

Jaishankar said; “We must recognise that we face headwinds – both from the global economy and in some cases from within our own domestic economies.”

The Indian minister called on the BIMSTEC countries to accelerate their efforts to boost intra BIMSTEC trade and economic ties. The development of a network of regional supply and value chains would reduce the region’s vulnerability to external shocks and give their economies greater resilience and transparency. “This requires us to accelerate cooperation that has been under discussion for long. Simultaneously we must also work on a more ambitious trade facilitation agenda.”

Jaishankar pointed out that the BIMSTEC countries live in one of the most disaster-prone regions of the world. “Activities that enhance our disaster management capacities, merit our special attention. In this connection, we are taking steps to strengthen the functioning of the BIMSTEC Centre for Weather and Climate which is located in India and has been serving this region. We urge all BIMSTEC partners to consider joining the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI),” he added.