India, ASEAN to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms

India and ASEAN countries on Thursday decided to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism through information sharing and capacity building.

India, ASEAN to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms

New Delhi: ASEAN on Thursday called for a "full and effective" implementation of the understanding between the parties involved in the South China Sea dispute, while stressing on maritime security and freedom of navigation in the critical sea lanes.

The reaffirmation came after the two sides discussed ways to boost maritime security, connectivity and trade. During the India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, which saw highest-level of participation from the 10 member-countries of the grouping, the leaders also agreed to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including by countering cross-border movement of terrorists.

The two sides issued a 'Delhi Declaration' that also pitched for an early conclusion of the 'Code of Conduct' in the South China Sea. China is involved in a territorial dispute with several countries including Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The 7-page declaration reaffirmed "the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and other lawful uses of the seas and unimpeded lawful maritime commerce and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes."

It should be in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the relevant standards and recommended practices by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), it said.

"In this regard, we support the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and look forward to an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC)," the declaration added, as per PTI.

Meanwhile, several ASEAN leaders complimented India's growing role in ensuring peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region during their bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs ministry said on Thursday.

The PM held bilateral meetings with Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, Singaporean Premier Lee Hsien Loong and Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah.

Secretary East in the external affairs ministry Preeti Saran said all the leaders PM Modi met talked about India's multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN and its role in ensuring peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

(With PTI inputs)

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