BIMSTEC countries to finalise convention on anti-terror by Nov

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New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) Echoing India's concern at increased terrorist activities in the region, Foreign Ministers of seven countries of South-East Asia and South Asia at a meeting here adopted a draft convention on jointly combating international terrorism, trans-border crime and drug trafficking.

Foreign Ministers of the member States of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), at a day-long meeting here, agreed to finalise the Convention on anti-terrorism, on the lines of the SAARC Convention on Terrorism, before the Summit of BIMSTEC Heads of State/Government to be held in New Delhi in November.

The proposed convention enables the BIMSTEC countries to cooperate in intelligence sharing, on legal and law enforcement issues and for preventing financing of terrorism and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

A Joint Statement issued after the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the seven BIMSTEC countries--India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal (all members of SAARC as well), Myanmar and Thailand--said approval was given to the setting up, in India, of a centre for energy, weather and climate climate change.

The Foreign Ministers also agreed to concluding negotiations for the proposed FTA before the November Summit and set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) for setting up the BIMSTEC Secretariat.

UNI RB SBC RK1535

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