New Delhi, Nov.11 (ANI): India and Colombia have strongly pitched for the UN-sponsored Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism becoming a vital law enforcement instrument, believing that international joint counter-terrorism efforts will benefit as a result.
Emphasizing this through a joint statement issued on Tuesday after Colombia Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez Merizalde concluded a two-day official visit to India, both New Delhi and Bogota reiterated the need for intensifying global cooperation in combating international terrorism.
Merizalde reiterated the condolences of the people and government of Colombia on the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the heinous crime would be brought to justice.
He said that Columbia strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whoever, wherever and for whatever purpose and, has stressed that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism.
"Colombia and India are convinced that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism would become a vital law enforcement instrument in international joint counter-terrorism efforts," the foreign ministers of the two countries said.
During the visit which took place during the Golden Jubilee year of the establishment of bilateral relations between India and Colombia, both ministers expressed satisfaction over the growing bilateral relations.
They held extensive discussions covering bilateral, regional and global issues and decided to encourage exchange of high-level visits between the countries and regularly hold Foreign Office Consultations, the last round of which was held in Delhi in April 2009.
Expressing satisfaction over growing bilateral trade and economic linkages, both sides acknowledged the significant role played by the apex chambers of commerce and industry, business federations, investment promotion agencies in both countries and business entities such as the Colombia-India Chamber of Commerce in Bogota and The TEQUENDAMA Group in India, in facilitating commercial and investment ties.
The Ministers noted that leading Indian companies have undertaken significant investments in Colombia in various sectors such as oil and hydrocarbons, mining, engineering, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and information technology.
They acknowledged the contribution of the MOUs signed between business Chambers and Federations of both countries and celebrate the signature during this visit of the MOU between ANDI and NASSCOM.
During the visit, a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPPA) and a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Bamboo were signed during the visit.
Both ministers also stressed the need for early finalization of agreements on extradition; mutual legal assistance; mining; energy, health; education, agriculture, public services and other areas of mutual interest.
Both sides also agreed to expedite talks for finalization of a double taxation avoidance agreement. With the signing of these agreements, economic and commercial ties will be further strengthened and ongoing bilateral engagement will be diversified, the joint statement said.
The two sides praised the high level of cooperation in the ICT sector as envisioned under a bilateral MoU signed in 2002 and also underlined the importance of collaboration in new and renewable energy sources and on collaboration in outer space.
They said the ratification of the bilateral agreement on cooperation in science and technology provides an important instrument for collaboration in these and other sectors.
Both countries welcomed prospects for strengthening ongoing bilateral technical cooperation under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme [ITEC] and expressed satisfaction at the process of cooperation and MOUs signed between 10 (ten) Universities of both countries.
The two ministers also held discussions on multilateral issues of mutual interest such as international financial and economic crisis; UN Reform; Climate Change in the context of UNFCCC in Copenhagen; Terrorism and Narco-trafficking and; exchanged views on regional developments in South Asia and Latin America and Caribbean.
Both emphasized the essential role of the UN for maintaining global peace and security, for promoting the economic and social advancement of all people and for meeting global threats and challenges.
India and Colombia stressed the need to implement the process of UN reforms to make it more representative, legitimate and effective.
They agreed that any expansion and restructuring of the Security Council must reflect contemporary realities, more representative, increase transparency, democracy and include developing countries.(ANI)