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India, Australia urge all nations to ensure no territory under their control is used for terror attacks

By Standard Reporter | September 13th 2021

India's Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, and Minister of External Affairs, S. Jaishankar. Left, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton MP. [Courtesy]

India and Australia have strongly condemned the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism and urged all countries to take "immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible" action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terror attacks.

Canberra also reiterated its condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot and Pulwama attacks, and reiterated its support for the people and Indian government in the fight against terrorism.

The two countries held their first India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on Saturday. India's Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, and Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, welcomed Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton MP, to New Delhi for the meeting.

As per the joint statement after the meeting, the ministers agreed to continue cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism including countering radicalization and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing exploitation of the internet for terrorism and violent extremism, strengthening law enforcement cooperation, information sharing, and capacity building.

The two sides also reiterated their commitment to furthering cooperation in counter-terrorism in multilateral fora such as the UN, G20, GCTF, ARF, IORA and FATF, as well as in Quad consultations, the statement noted.

"The Ministers also welcomed the 12th Joint Working Group Meeting on Counter-Terrorism on 17 December 2020, underlining their commitment to combat terrorism. They strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whenever, wherever, and by whom-so-ever committed and the use of terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism," the statement read.

"The Ministers underlined the urgent need for all countries to take immediate, sustained, verifiable and irreversible action to ensure that no territory under their control is used for terrorist attacks and to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks," it added.

The ministers welcomed the progress made in further broadening and deepening bilateral India-Australia cooperation in line with the Joint Statement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and Australia of June 2020.

India and Australia reiterated the importance of the defence relationship, a core pillar of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the statement read.

The ministers acknowledged the increased defence cooperation between both countries and discussed initiatives to enhance defence engagements.

"Both sides welcomed the success of the recently concluded Exercise Malabar Phase I. The Ministers welcomed the continued participation of Australia in Exercise Malabar. Australia invited India to participate in future Talisman Sabre exercises, to empower operational compatibility between their defence services," the statement read.

The ministers committed to operational logistics support while exploring longer-term reciprocal arrangements. They agreed to reinforce each other's maritime domain awareness through information sharing and practical cooperation.

They expressed the desire to do more across the maritime domain and maximize resources to ensure free and open critical maritime corridors in the Indo-Pacific.

Australia congratulated India for its non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the term 2021-2022 and welcomed India's Presidency initiatives focused on maritime security, technology and peacekeeping and counter-terrorism, according to the statement.

"Australia reaffirmed its support to India's candidacy for permanent membership of the UNSC and in reforming International Organizations to make them more accountable and transparent," it noted.

Recognising cooperation on cyber security, innovation, digital economy, cyber and critical technologies as an essential pillar of the India-Australia relationship, the ministers reiterated the importance of working together in these areas, as identified by the Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation between India and Australia.

The ministers welcomed the ongoing and proposed cooperation between the Indian Space Research Organization and the Australian Space Agency and the signing of the amendment to the 2012 MoU between the two countries on Space Cooperation in Civil Space Science, Technology and Education on 17 February 2021.

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