India, France stress on need to deny safe haven to terrorists
New Delhi India and France on Friday emphasised the need to deny safe havens and sources of financing to terrorists, as the two countries discussed ways to boost cooperation to combat terrorism.
The meeting of the bilateral joint working group on counter-terrorism in New Delhi condemned terrorism in all forms and manifestations and stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation to fight the menace in a comprehensive and sustained manner, according to a joint statement.
Without naming any country, the statement said: “Both sides stressed upon the need to deny safe havens and sources of financing to terrorists.”
This is believed to be a reference to Pakistan, which India has blamed for harbouring terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed that are responsible for cross-border attacks. France has consistently backed India at forums such as the UN Security Council and Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in exerting pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists and their financing.
The two sides agreed to strengthen counter-terror cooperation, which is a cornerstone of the bilateral strategic partnership, through regular exchanges of information, joint capacity building efforts, mutual legal assistance, sharing best practices to fight terrorism and radicalisation and cooperating at multilateral bodies such as the UN and FATF.
They also agreed to work closely for the third edition of the “No Money for Terror” international conference being organised by Indian government in New Delhi this year.
Both sides also exchanged views on current counter-terror challenges, including combating radicalisation, preventing use of the internet for terrorism, threats posed by internationally designated terrorist entities and cross-border terror in South Asia.
The inter-agency Indian delegation was led by Mahaveer Singhvi, joint secretary for counter-terrorism in the external affairs ministry, while the French side was led by David Bertolotti, assistant secretary of state for strategic, security and disarmament affairs in the foreign ministry.