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PM Modi calls for stronger defence, economic ties between India-Malaysia

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Putrajaya: Lauding the age-old links shared between India and Malaysia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for stronger bonds between the two nations through the bilateral enhancement of defence cooperation and economic partnership.

“We are defined by diversity and democracy. We have built a vibrant economic partnership. We are located on the same maritime route. We are closely aligned in our vision and approach to the region, and work closely in regional forums. So, with a relationship as rich as this, I am pleased that we have agreed to make our Summits, ministerial dialogues and official meetings more regular,” Prime Minister Modi said in his joint statement.

He expressed his gratitude to his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak for upholding the security cooperation between the nations as it underlined their shared commitment to deal with the security challenges.

“The recent spate of attacks in different countries, not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan, are a reminder of the global nature of this threat. Mr. Prime Minister, you have provided leadership in combating extremism and radicalization, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion, and in highlighting the real values of Islam. This is a great contribution to an important aspect of our global efforts against this challenge,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He added that India will strengthen its defence cooperation with Malaysia, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response.

“I am pleased that we have agreed to upgrade our joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum. We will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment,” he said.

Asserting that he fully intended to ‘exploit’ the potential of the bilateral and the India-ASEAN agreement, the Prime Minister said he believed the trade and investment relations between the two nations can be scaled up significantly.

“Malaysia has completed several important projects, including in the road sector, in India. I expressed our desire to see enhanced Malaysian participation in areas such as expansion and upgrading of infrastructure, Make in India, and Smart Cities projects. We want to raise the level of Indian presence in the Malaysian economy,” he added.

Placing special emphasis on the cultural and the people-to-people ties shared between India and Malaysia, Prime Minister Modi said that he confident that the strategic partnership between the two nations will climb new heights.

“Prime Minister Najib and I will inaugurate the Torana Gate at the entrance of Little India in Bricksfield. This is a gift of India, but a labour of love for Prime Minister Najib. And, it will be a symbol of our timeless ties and the friendship between our people. We invite Malaysian students to study in India and urge early conclusion of an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Degrees,” he added.

He thanked Prime Minister Razak for a ‘productive’ discussion and also invited him for a visit to India. (ANI)