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Home > News > PTI

Global response needed to combat terror: PM

September 09, 2003 21:23 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Tuesday called for a global and comprehensive response to combat terrorism and said India was bringing international pressure on countries, which support it.

Complete coverage of Sharon's visit

"It is a menace that particularly targets democratic societies which have to fashion a global and comprehensive response to tackle it," he said at a banquet he hosted in honour of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Observing that India was today engaged in a determined struggle to defeat terrorism against it, he said New Delhi was also bringing international pressure to bear on those who support it.

Simultaneously, India was also engaged in the process of improving relations with all its neighbours, Vajpayee said.

"West Asia and gulf region are a part of our extended neighbourhood with which we have long-standing cultural and civilisational links. We would very much like to see an end to violence and restoration of peace in these troubled lands," he said.

Observing that common experience of the two countries was the menace of terrorism, he said, "Bilaterally and on the international plane we are contributing to the global fight against terrorism."

Vajpayee said relations between India and Israel were 'rooted in antiquity'.

"At the same time, we are both young nations with democratic values, seeking economic progress by tapping the creative genius of our people," he said.

Referring to the wide-ranging talks he had with Sharon, he said they discussed a number of 'new ideas to strengthen our bridges of friendship by more fully exploiting our comparative advantages.

"I have no doubt that your visit and our discussions will be a catalyst for faster movement in the right direction," he said.

Describing the first ever visit of Israeli prime minister as an 'important landmark in our bilateral relations', Vajpayee said the people of India and Israel had a long history of civilisational contact.

"Our lands have supported the birth of great and ancient religions and civilisations. Jewish communities in India have, over the centuries, painted rich colours into the mosaic of Indian society," he said.

Maintaining that the two countries shared commonalities in modern times, the Prime Minister said the people of India had great admiration for the tremendous achievements of Israel in diverse fields ranging from agriculture to high technology.

He said in the relatively short span of 11 years of formal diplomatic relations, New Delhi and Jerusalem have established a 'vibrant partnership'.

"India is one of Israel's strongest trade partners in Asia today. Our scientists and scholars are together exploring the frontiers of knowledge in cutting edge area," he said.

On defence cooperation, he said it rested on a foundation of mutual understanding of security concern. "Our people-to-people interaction has been enriched through tourism, student exchanges and cultural contacts. All these strands are tied together by a political understanding between us," he added.


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