Indian, Malay PMs agree to strengthen defence ties
November 23 2015 08:35 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak look at the architecture after inaugurating the “Torana Gate”, symbolising Malaysia-India relations at Brickfields, popularly known as Little India in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

IANS/Kuala Lumpur

India and Malaysia yesterday agreed to deepen military exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels.
This was announced in a joint statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership issued after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak.
Modi ended his Malaysia visit yesterday and then headed to Singapore.
The defence exchanges will be between the defence ministers, senior defence officials, chiefs of the armed services and through Service-to-Service Staff Talks, the statement said.
The two countries also agreed to convene the next India-Malaysia Defence Co-operation Meeting at the level of defence secretary and secretary general.
They also decided to promote joint collaboration on projects of mutual interest in the defence sector including in the areas of defence equipment and industry, research, training and capacity building.
The two sides also “agreed to set up the SU-30 Forum for co-operation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues, building on the assistance by India for successful completion of the SU-30 MKM training programme by Indian pilots in Malaysia”, the statement said.
The statement said the two countries will institute annual talks between the heads of the Indian Coast Guard and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Both countries expressed strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
They called upon all states to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
In this context, they welcomed the ongoing co-operation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance co-operation in this direction.
They agreed to continue sharing information and best practices to address the challenges posed by terrorism as well as other traditional and non-traditional threats.
India and Malaysia also agreed to discuss further a pact on transfer of sentenced prisoners to each other’s prisons.
Both countries also reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment co-operation, and to deepen and widen their economic engagement, which has emerged as an important fulcrum of the strategic partnership.
The two sides agreed “to promote joint collaboration, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors, and to facilitate joint projects and collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries, in line with the new developmental and business initiatives undertaken by India, such as the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill Development that offered significant investment opportunities for Malaysian businesses”, the statement said.
“The prime minister of India conveyed the steps being taken by the government of India to provide a conducive environment for investors, and invited Malaysian investors to participate in economic activities for the mutual benefits of both countries,” it added.
Malaysia and India also agreed to greater co-opreration on traditional systems of medicine.
“Recognising the need to promote greater co-operation between the two countries in Ayurveda and other Indian systems of traditional medicine, Malaysia welcomed the deputation of an Ayurveda practitioner and two therapists from India under the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation programme,” the statement said.
Earlier, Modi highlighted the cultural ties of India with Malaysia as he inaugurated a Torana Gate, a traditional gateway to Hindu and Buddhist temples here.
“This Torana is not merely a piece of art on stone. This is connecting the two nations and illustrates the two great cultures,” Modi said while jointly inaugurating the gate with Razak at Brickfields, popularly known as Little India here.
Modi said the gate was first made by emperor Ashoka in Madhya Pradesh and was dedicated to Lord Buddha.
Razak described the gate as a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship.
“Torana Gate is a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship. It offers a gateway to one of the oldest civilisations,” he said.
Stating that the message of Lord Buddha reverberated across Asia, Modi said the newly-inaugurated Torana gate was a milestone in India’s relations with Malaysia.
“I am sure ties between India and Malaysia will be stronger and deeper in the times to come,” he said.

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