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World must reject linkage between religion, terror: Modi

November 13, 2014 13:30 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted that the world community must reject any linkage between religion and terrorism while formulating a "genuinely international" partnership in the fight against all forms of terror acts.

In his intervention at the East Asia Summit, the prime minister also said that it should be ensured that cyber and space remain a source of connectivity and prosperity, and not new theatres of conflict.

Leaders of 18 countries including US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang are assembled at the one-day ninth East Asian Summit in Myanmarese capital Nay Pyi Taw.

"We support the East Asia Summit Declaration on the Islamic State (terror group). At the same time, comprehensive response against terrorism requires a genuinely international partnership against all terrorism. Those who believe in humanity must come together. We should also reject any linkage between religion and terrorism," he said.

"Challenges of terrorism and extremism have increased. There is close link with drug trafficking, arms smuggling and money laundering," he added.

On economic issues, Modi pushed for a "balanced" Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which gives equal emphasis to goods and services, saying this could become a "springboard" for regional integration and prosperity.

Modi also conveyed India's best wishes for the goal of creating an ASEAN Community in 2015.

"ASEAN's success is an inspiration for broader integration in the Asia-Pacific region. India has great confidence in Asian centrality and leadership in pursuing that goal," he added.

"Since entering office six months ago, my government has moved with a great sense of priority and speed to turn our 'Look East Policy' into 'Act East Policy'. The East Asia Summit is an important pillar of this policy," Modi said.

"No other forum brings together such a large collective weight of global population, youth, economy and military strength. Nor is any other forum so critical for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia-Pacific and the world," he said.

"Over the last eight Summits, we have made progress in a number of areas. We worked on important issues. We have begun to establish a culture and habit of dialogue and cooperation.

"In the same vein, we should also start major initiatives on energy partnership, for example, in the area of solar energy, with the objective of bringing affordable clean energy within the reach of all," he said.

The prime minister said Ebola has once again highlighted the importance of international cooperation in combating pandemics while mentioning India's contribution of $ 12 million as part of the global fight against the deadly virus.

"We also have 251 police personnel, including 104 women personnel, as part of the UN Mission in Liberia. They have all remained on duty in Liberia," Modi said.

He added that the initiatives taken by the East Asia Summit in disaster preparedness and response are truly commendable.

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