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India, Paraguay discuss global terrorism, bilateral issues

India, Paraguay discuss global terrorism, bilateral issues
March 08
07:06 2019

Asuncion, March 8 (IANS) Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez on Thursday discussed terrorism and a range of bilateral issues.

According to an official statement, Paraguay said it would support India’s candidature to various UN and other multilateral bodies including for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

Naidu, who is on visit to Paraguay, also met Vice President Hugo Velazquez, and the President of the National Congress (Senate), Silvio Ovelar.

“Both sides agreed that terrorism posed a grave threat to global peace and stability, stressing that there could be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. Outlining a common desire to take an uncompromising stand against terror, India and Paraguay have agreed to cooperate to deal with the menace of terror,” the statement said.

Paraguay decried the brutal terrorist attack that took place in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14, saying India could always count on its support in the fight against terrorism and in voicing India’s concerns on terrorism in international fora.

Citing the scourge of cross-border terrorism in India, Naidu stressed the need to take strong measures against terrorists, terror organizations, their networks and all those who encourage, support, finance and provide safe haven to them.

Paraguay also affirmed its support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism proposed by India.

The Vice President also emphasized that Paraguay was an important partner of India in the Latin American and Caribbean region and said that bilateral relations have been showing an upward trend.

The Indian and Paraguayan leaders noted with satisfaction the strengthening of bilateral relations over the years and the ten-fold growth in bilateral trade over the last decade, while agreeing that there is greater scope to increase trade volume and diversify the trade basket.

Naidu urged the Paraguayan leadership to explore new areas of collaboration including agriculture, hydroelectric and solar energy, health, pharmaceuticals, traditional medicine, Information and Communication Technology, and biotechnology. Both sides agreed to facilitate promotion of exchanges between academics and universities and also between stakeholders in tourism.

He requested Paraguay to facilitate the convening of the next round of expert level discussions between regional bloc MERCOSUR and India to take forward the shared agenda of the expansion of the Preferential Trade Agreement.

He also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Diplomatic and Consular Academy of Paraguay and the Foreign Service Institute of India.

“Decision was made to task experts from both nations to finalize pending agreements including Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, Bilateral Investment Treaty and for Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance,” the statement said.

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