Afghan territory must not become source of terrorism: India, France

At a meeting of the India-France joint working group on counter-terrorism in Paris, the two sides vowed to stand together in the fight against the menace, according to the MEA.

India and France have underlined the need to ensure that Afghan territory does not become a source of terrorism and called for concerted action against all terror groups including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen.

At a meeting of the India-France joint working group on counter-terrorism in Paris, the two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms including cross-border terrorist activities and vowed to stand together in the fight against the menace, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

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The two countries recalled their willingness to coordinate actively in view of the preparation of the third edition of the ‘No Money for Terror’ international conference to be organised by India.

In the meeting on Tuesday, they also exchanged views on proscription of terrorists and entities as one of the tools to combat terrorism and shared information about priorities and procedures for pursuing sanctions and designations against terrorist entities and individuals, the MEA said in a statement.

It said the two sides shared their assessment of the evolution of the terrorist threat on their respective territories and in their regional environment.

“They also underlined the need to ensure that Afghan territory does not become a source of radicalisation and terrorism, regionally or globally and is never again used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter, recruit or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2593,” the MEA said.

It said India and France also exchanged views on threats posed by UN-sanctioned terrorist entities and individuals and emphasised the need for taking “concerted action” against all terrorist networks including al-Qaida and ISIS/Daesh as well as LeT, JeM, and Hizbul Mujahideen.

The two sides also pressed for making sure that perpetrators of terrorist attacks are systematically and expeditiously brought to justice.

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Held in a month that marks both the 13-year-anniversary of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks and the six-year-anniversary of the November 2015 Paris strikes, this meeting reaffirmed India and France’s unequivocal condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, the MEA said.

“Both sides stressed the need for all countries to ensure that territories that are under their control cannot be used to plan, launch terrorist attack against any other country, shelter or train terrorist fighters,” it said.

The two sides exchanged views on various areas of cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism, countering illegal narcotic drugs and arms smuggling.

The MEA said they expressed their willingness to keep sharing information on countering radicalisation and violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing misuse of the internet for terrorist or violent extremist purposes to act against internationally designated entities and individuals.

“Both sides committed to working closely together to respond to these challenges and discussed ways to deepen engagement between their respective counterpart agencies to further advance cooperation in the sphere of counter-terrorism,” it said.

The two sides also discussed counter-terrorism cooperation in multilateral fora including in the UN, building-up upon India’s membership of the Security Council for the 2021-2022 biennium and at the FATF (Financial Action Task Force).

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