India, China lay stress on cooperation to combat terrorism

December 15th, 2008 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Close on the heels of the joint India-China army exercise and in the wake of the recent Mumbai terror attack, the two countries Monday called for greater defence cooperation to combat “increasing menace of terrorism” and threats “sponsored by religious fundamentalism”.The call was made in the India-China Annual Defence Dialogue held here. India was represented by Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and the Chinese side was led by Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army.

“Both leaders highlighted the importance of Indo-China defence relations in the light of the new political order and the increasing menace of terrorism and non-traditional threats sponsored by religious fundamentalism,” a senior defence official said.

Agreeing that “unilateralism” was not the way forward, the two sides also agreed that “international cooperation” was essential.

“They agreed on the importance to work collectively to defeat these destabilising forces,” the official added.

Both countries also shared their perspectives on various global and regional security situations, including piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

The Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest and the most piracy infested shipping lanes in the world, is a vital route for energy supplies of the two countries.

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