India, Malaysia to deepen cooperation in security, defence: PM Narendra Modi ​

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held talks with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak on ways to ramp up bilateral cooperation.

Updated: Nov 23, 2015, 12:15 PM IST
PlayIndia, Malaysia to deepen cooperation in security, defence: PM Narendra Modi ​

Putrajaya: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held talks with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak and announced that New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur will deepen cooperation in security and defence.

Addressing a joint press conference with Najib after bilateral talks between the two sides, Modi emphasised that the recent attacks globally and the "ceaseless" terror attempts against India and Afghanistan were a reminder of the global nature of terrorism.

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

"I am particularly grateful to you for our security cooperation. It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area," he said in a joint press briefing at Putrajaya, the sprawling administrative capital on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Modi, who was here to attend the ASEAN and the East Asia Summits, said recent spate of attacks in different countries, "not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan are a reminder of the global nature of this threat."

Appreciating Najib's leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, Modi said this is a great contribution an important aspect of global efforts against this challenge.

Warning that terrorism is the "biggest threat" to the world, Modi had yesterday said it should be delinked from religion.

Also Read: Religion should be delinked from terror, says PM Modi in Malaysia

Talking about security and defence cooperation, Modi said both countries will make it stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in the region.

"I am pleased that we have agreed to upgrade our joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum," he said, adding that both sides will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment.

"Our agreement to cooperate in cyber security is very important. As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age," Modi said.

Also Read: India, Malaysia sign cyber security, infrastructure accords

The Prime Minister said he shares Najib's belief that bilateral trade and investment relations can be scaled up significantly.

"We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-ASEAN Agreements. We look forward to an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement," he said.

Modi expressed confidence of taking the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level.

India and Malaysia also signed MoUs on cyber security, culture and public administration.

Speaking at the joint press briefing, Prime Minister Najib said a New convention Centre will be built in New Delhi under government to government contract.

Modi said, "We have built a vibrant economic partnership. We are located on the same maritime route."

Noting that Malaysian competence in infrastructure is well known and that Malaysia has completed several important projects, including in the road sector, in India, Modi said he wanted to see enhanced Malaysian participation in areas such as expansion and upgrading of infrastructure, Make in India, and Smart Cities projects.

"Indian companies have a strong presence in Malaysia. IRCON is contributing to development of rail infrastructure here. We want to raise the level of Indian presence in the Malaysian economy," he said.

Modi said he and his Malaysian counterpart are determined to explore steps to show concrete and early results.

"I am happy that we are strengthening our excellent cooperation in Public Administration and Governance. I have personally interacted with PEMANDU, and am pleased that our Niti Ayog will work with them," he said.

The Prime Minister said both countries will place special emphasis on cultural and people-to-people ties.

Modi invited Malaysian students to study in India and urged early conclusion of an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Degrees.

"I am very pleased with our excellent and growing cooperation in Traditional Medicine, including Ayurveda and Siddha," he said.

Talking about the inauguration of the Torana Gate at the entrance of Little India in Bricksfield, Modi said, "This is a gift of India, but a labour of love for Prime Minister Najib. And, it will be a symbol of our timeless ties and the friendship between our people".

Also Read: PM Modi inaugurates Torana gate, highlights India-Malaysia cultural ties

Noting that the two back-to-back airline tragedies could sap the morale of any nation, Modi said he commends Prime Minister Najib's leadership and the resolve and resilience of the Malaysian people.

Modi said both countries are closely aligned in their vision and approach to the region and work closely in regional forums.

"So, with a relationship as rich as this, I am pleased that we have agreed to make our Summits, ministerial dialogues and official meetings more regular. I assure you that we will work with renewed vigour to raise the level to momentum of our partnership," he said.

Najib, in his statement, said the two sides wanted to cooperate in the defence field and were considering joint production in this sector.

Both countries shared a common position on counter terrorism efforts, he noted.

Addressing the press conference, Najib described Modi “a man of action”, adding that the Indian PM wants things to be implemented expeditiously.

Earlier on Monday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome and guard of honour at Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia.

Also Read: Modi accorded ceremonial welcome in Malaysia

Modi was warmly embraced by Najib as he got out of his car at Perdana square in Putrajaya.

Modi, dressed in a Bandhgala, inspected a guard of honour and was introduced by Najib to Malaysian Ministers and officials.

Modi then held a one-on-one meeting with Najib.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted:

Delegation-level talks began after the ceremonial welcome, the guard of honour and the one-on-one meeting between Modi and Najib.

"Focusing on a well-rounded partnership. PM @narendramodi and PM @NajibRazak lead delegation level talks," Swarup said in a tweet.

Also Read: Modi in Malaysia: As it happened on Sunday

Modi has said Malaysia is at the core of the his government's 'Act East Policy'. India has has a strategic partnership with Malaysia since 2010.

(With Agency inputs)