Video: Indo-Philippine Joint Declaration on terror

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New Delhi, Oct 5: India and the Philippines today signed a Joint Declaration to combat Global Terrorism, including its financing, and decided to establish a Joint Commission to boost cooperation in energy and defence.

India also extended a 15 million US Dollar Line of Credit to the Philippines while Manila showed a welcome sign to Indian investment.

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The two countries signed nine pacts pledging copperation in several areas to promote bilateral relations.

The pacts were signed after hour-long talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and their respective delegations here covering bilateral, regional and international issues.

The two leaders also discussed India's 'Look east Policy and how to carry it forward.

The Philippines President is accompanied by seven Cabinet Ministers including those of Health, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Tourism and Energy. A 41-member business delegation is also accompanying her.

The visit, aimed at boosting the sagging political and trade ties between the two countries, is the first by a Philippines President to India during the past ten years, the last being that of Fidel Ramos in 1997.

Another main purpose of her visit is to secure the availability of inexpensive medicines from India.

The Philippines President also attended a luncheon meeting with the representatives of Indian industry including the CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM.

In the evening, Vice-President Hamid Ansari will call on her to be followed by a meeting with President Pratibha Patil.

Ms Arroyo will leave for the Philippines tomorrow afternoon.

The Philippines President, who arrived here last night from Mumbai on a two-day visit, said before leaving for Delhi that her country wanted to work with India for development of affordable medicines, energy and eco-tourism. Speaking at a meeting with representatives of Indian business in Mumbai yesterday, Ms Arroyo said, ''Philippines wants to work with India to make affordable medicines available to the people, to develop alternative sources of energy and promote mutual visits and eco-tourism.'' Pointing out various trade prospects between the two countries in the fields of energy, mining, construction, IT, pharmaceuticals and tourism, she said her country had liberalised the visa policy.

''By cutting the red-tape, we have liberalised our visa policy in order to promote mutual relations,'' she said while inviting Indian businessmen to invest in her country.

The other Declarations/Agreement/Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed after talks between the Prime Minister and the Philippines President today included a Joint Declaration on a Framework of Bilateral Cooperation to establish partnership on the basis of good neighbourliness, cooperation, mutual trust and benefit.

It reaffirms the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and affirms the desire of both sides to exchange high level visits, establish a Joint Commission, encourage cooperation in a number of sectors including health and pharmaceuticals, information technology, mining, real estate, renewable energy, natural gas, bio-fuels, defence, security, transnational crimes, science and technology, agriculture and tourism.

The Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism opposes acts of terrorism in all their forms and manifestations as a profound threat to international peace and security which requires concerted action to protect and defend peace and security everywhere. It envisages information sharing, cooperation among law enforcing agencies, cooperation in capacity-building and in the prevention and suppression of the financing of terrorist acts.

The Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, also signed by Mr Mukherjee and Mr Romulo, will be co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries and will meet on a bi-annual basis.

It will strengthen and develop trade, economic, scientific, technological and other fields of bilateral cooperation between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

The two sides also signed an Agreement on Exemption of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports.

The Agreement envisages allowing entry in either country to Diplomatic and Official Passport holders for a period of thirty days at a time without visas.

An MOU on Cooperation between the Foreign Service Institutes of the two countries envisages exchange of information relating to the respective programmes of studies, courses, seminars, language programmes and other activities of the two institutions.

All these agreements were signed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines Alberto G. Romulo.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Republic of India and the Department of Energy Republic of the Philippines on Enhanced Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy, envisaging collaboration in research, design, development and demonstration of renewable energy technologies, solar photo-voltaic, solar heating, bio-gas, bio-mass, geo-thermal, small hydro, wind, tidal ocean and other renewable sources of energy.

The MoA was signed by Minister of State in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Vilas Muttemwar, and the Philippines Secretary of Energy, Angelo T. Reyes.

An MOU was also signed for Utilisation of a 15 million US Dollar Line of Credit between Philippines and the Exim Bank of India. As part of the 100 million US dollars offered to ASEAN countries as a soft Lines of Credit, the DEA approved a 15 million Dollar Line of Credit for the Philippines for gems and jewellery cutting/polishing machinery and other equipment.

It was signed by Mr T C Venkat Subramanian, Chairman and Managing Director, Exim Bank and Ms Teresita Vega Berner, Ambassador of Philippines to India.

An MOA between the State Trading Corporation and the Philippines International Trading Corporation, envisaging import and export of several goods was signed by the Chairman and Managing Director of the State Trading Corporation of India Ltd.

Dr Arvind Pandalai and President and Chief Executive Officer, Philippines International Trading Corporation, Mr Jorge Mendoza Judan.

The MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Health and Medicine was signed by Secretary, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Naresh Dayal and Ambassador of Philippines to India, Ms Teresita Vega Berner.



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