India, Israel vow to fight against the global challenge of terrorism

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel President Reuven Rivlin came out with a joint statement in New Delhi on Tuesday. In a joint statement on Tuesday, both leaders agreed to intensify their cooperation in the fight against extremism.

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In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Modi said that one country in India’s neighbourhood housed militants who then spread to other countries. The prime minister added that action must be taken against states that harbour terrorists. “We agreed that the international community must act with resolve against terror networks. Failure to act and silence of speech only encourages terrorists,” said Modi.

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Israel President Rivlin, who is in India on an eight-day tour, said that his country and India are both threatened by terror as these two countries uphold the values of freedom. On Monday, Rivlin had pledged fully support to New Delhi’s fight against terror. “Terror is terror, whoever carries it out and whoever are its victims. And we all have the duty to condemn in our words, and fight with our deeds against this terrible evil,” he had said.

Apart from militancy, the two leaders discussed diplomatic relations and agreed to improve ties and cooperation on several other fronts. “[The] growing number of Indian students going to study in Israel will be an important bridge in building our partnership,” said Modi. He also added that the engagement between India and Israel will be multi-dimensional. While defence is an important area where the two countries will enhance ties, India will also encourage business relations. “Private sector holders must use this opportunity to build business ties between India and Israel,” said the prime minister.

A large delegation of businessmen and academics are travelling with the Israeli president. A long-pending Free Trade Agreement, and separate deals with Indian educational institutions are also on the cards.

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