India and Portugal on Saturday inked seven pacts to expand bilateral engagement in a wide range of areas including defence and security, IT and renewable energy even as they took a veiled dig at China for blocking New Delhi’s move at the UN to list JeM Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist.
In wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa, while agreeing to deepen the ties, also called for tough global action against terror networks and States harbouring them stressing that there should not be any double standards in combating terrorism.
Modi, in a statement to the media, said he and Costa discussed the need for the global community to take strong and urgent action against the rapidly growing and widely spreading threats of violence and terror.
“Recognising the importance of the Central role of UN in combating terrorism, they exhorted the international community to effectively implement the measures enumerated by the 1267 UN Sanctions Committee,” a joint statement issued after the talks said.
On December 30, China had blocked India’s move to list Pakistan-based Azhar as a global terrorist, at the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council. China was the only member on the 15-nation Committee to have opposed India’s move. The joint statement said both sides called for strengthening cooperation in combating terrorism in a spirit of ‘zero tolerance’, underlining that States should not support any terror entity including ‘non-State actors’ on any grounds.
The two leaders also called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and sought adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the UN. The Prime Minister said his talks with Costa, who traces his origin to Goa, covered full range of India Portugal ties across various sectors.
“We agreed that the two countries must focus on action oriented approach to realize the full potential of economic opportunities in our partnership. The agreements signed on Saturday are just one indication of our shared resolve to do exactly that,” he said.
Modi also thanked Costa for Portugal’s support to India’s membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime, and for its continued support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The MoU on defence envisages cooperation meeting security challenges, including in the maritime domain and defence industries.