India, Spain set up anti-terror mechanism

January 5th, 2009 - 11:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) India Monday shared with Spain the evidence linking Pakistan-based elements to Mumbai’s terror carnage even as the two countries set up a joint anti-terror mechanism to deal with this global menace. The anti-terror mechanism will include exchange of counter-terrorism experts who would be based in New Delhi and Madrid. The mechanism also envisages providing support to victims of terrorism in the two countries.

“We expressed our condolences with the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks and offered our help in containing such strikes,” Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told reporters here.

“Spain has considerable expertise in handling terror. We would help India in numerous fields like border surveillance, which we have developed,” she said after holding talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Besides counter-terror cooperation, the two sides also held talks on a wide spectrum of issues, including intensification of business and cultural ties, and the global financial downturn that has brought the Spanish economy on the verge of its worst recession in decades.

De la Vega, Spain’s first woman deputy prime minister who also holds the position of first vice-president, began her six-day visit to India from New Delhi Saturday.

In a gesture that underscores Spain’s solidarity with India and its faith in India’s business potential, De la Vega will stay in the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel when she goes to Mumbai Tuesday.

The hotel by the bay front which was badly ravaged by the terrorists during the Nov 26-29 siege, reopened Dec 21, symbolising the city’s never-die spirit.

Spain is no stranger to terrorism as it has been in the firing range of home-grown terrorism spearheaded by Basque separatists for decades. It was hit by global terrorism four years ago with the bombing of trains in Madrid by suspected Al Qaeda terrorists.

Spanish intelligence agencies have said that extremists from Pakistan are active in the northeastern region of Catalonia, especially in Barcelona, where the police are tracking Pakistan-based groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is suspected by India of having masterminded the Mumbai carnage.

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