India, Cyprus for decisive action against nations sustaining 'violence factories'

Both sides also signed four pacts, including one for air services and another on cooperation in merchant shipping.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 28, 2017, 23:43 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday strongly pitched for decisive action against states supporting, sheltering and sustaining "violence factories" in their regions.

The two leaders held detailed discussion on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern. These included ways to boost trade ties and UN Security Council reforms.

Both sides also signed four pacts, including one for air services and another on cooperation in merchant shipping.

At a joint media event with the Cypriot leader, Modi said India has always stood with Cyprus on crucial issues and firmly supports its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

Modi said India has contributed personnel to the UN Peacekeeping Force (UNPKF) in Cyprus.

Three force commanders from India, Modi said served in Cyprus as a part of the UNPKF and are fondly remembered in the Mediterranean country. He also lauded the Cypriot President's efforts to resolve the long-pending Cyprus issue

Anastasiades said he is sincerely appreciative of his "dearest friend" Modi and the Indian government for India's equivocal support on the Cyprus issue.

Modi said that while India has been battling cross-border terrorism for decades, Cyprus, due to its geographical location, understood the threat posed by terrorism.

"We agreed that there is an urgent need for all countries to decisively act against those states which generate, support, shelter and sustain these factories of violence in our regions," the prime minister said in a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Emphasising the need for creating a comprehensive legal framework to fight terror, Modi advocated early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India at the UN.

The two sides also agreed on the need for early reforms in the UNSC as Modi expressed appreciation for Cyprus' support to India's bid for inclusion in the world body as a permanent member.

The Cypriot leader said his country wanted India to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Describing the Cypriot president as "great friend and strong supporter of India", Modi said he also discussed with him ways to strengthen the partnership in other "inter- governmental organisations and regimes".

Issues like growing economic relations between India and Cyprus figured during the talks.

The Mediterranean country is the eighth largest investor in India. Last year, the two countries had revised the double taxation avoidance agreement.

For better coordination between the two countries in key sectors, Anastasiades also announced an inter-ministerial working group to provide "much needed political direction".

The Cypriot president said his country is supportive of enhancement of the EU-India strategic partnership and back a EU-India free trade agreement.

Anastasiades invited Indian companies to invest in Cyprus which can help them gain an easy access to Europe, the Gulf region and North Africa.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Cypriot president, and discussed areas of bilateral cooperation.