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Modi calls for deeper India-Malaysia defence ties

23 November 2015

India and Malaysia today signed three memorandums of agreements for cooperation in cyber security, public administration and culture even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to deepen defence cooperation between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the joint press briefing in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 23 November 2015  
The prime minister said he was grateful for Malayia's decision to improve security cooperation with India. ''It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area.

The recent spate of attacks in different countries, not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan, are a reminder of the global nature of this threat.

''Mr Prime Minister, you have provided leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion, and in highlighting the real values of Islam.

''This is a great contribution to an important aspect of our global efforts against this challenge.

''We will also make our defence cooperation stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in our region,'' Modi said.

On defence cooperation, Modi said the two countries have agreed to upgrade their joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum.

''We will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment.

''Our agreement to cooperate in cyber security is very important. As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age.

Modi called for scaling up trade and investment relations significantly. ''We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-ASEAN Agreements,'' he added.

Modi said India and Malaysia are "defined by diversity and democracy" and vowed to make stronger the strategic cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

"India's links with Malaysia are very old," Modi said as he called on Razak to "work with renewed vigour" to maintain the momentum of the partnership between the two countries.

In his statement, Razak called Modi a "man of action" and said he was "very pleased" with the discussion between the two countries. "Our bilateral ties will get deeper and stronger," he said.

Earlier on Monday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome in Kuala Lumpur. He was warmly embraced by Najib as he got out of his car at Perdana square in Putrajaya, the sprawling administrative capital on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital.

Modi has said Malaysia is at the core of his government's 'Act East Policy'. India has a strategic partnership with Malaysia since 2010.

Modi attended the 13th ASEAN-India Summit on Saturday and the 10th East Asia Summit on Sunday.

Later in the day, Modi will join the programme for the inauguration of the Torana Gate, interact with corporate Malaysia, and visit the famous Batu Caves Temple.

The Prime Minister will then leave for Singapore where he will hold deliberations with Lee Hsien Loong on ways to enhance bilateral ties on the occasion of commemoration of 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

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