“In this forum, we often thought of terrorism as a peripheral problem for this region,” Modi said in his remarks at the 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) that got underway here.

“The barbaric terrorist strikes in Paris, Ankara, Beirut, Mali and on the Russian aircraft (that was brought down in Egypt’s Sinai lat month) is a stark reminder that its shadow stretches across our societies and our world, both in recruitment and choice of targets,” he said.

“We must build new global resolve and new strategies for combating terrorism, without balancing it against political considerations,” he added.

Without directly referring to Pakistan, he said no country should use or support terrorism. “There is no distinction between groups. There are no sanctuaries. There are no funds. There is no access to arms. But, we also have to work within our societies and with our youth. I welcome the commitment to de-link religion from terrorism and the efforts to promote human values that define every faith,” Modi said.

Stating that since his government came to power 18 months ago, no region has seen greater engagement from India than the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean region, he outlined his vision of five elements for an Asian century. “First, support for regional architecture for security cooperation that is inclusive, balanced, transparent and open,” he said.

“Second, the ocean is a pathway to peace and prosperity: India shares with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) a commitment to freedom of navigation, over flight and unimpeded commerce in accordance with accepted principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Modi sought stronger cooperation in the areas of cyber-security, outer space and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. “Third, we need stronger commitment and closer cooperation on cyber security. We will also have to work on certain norms of behaviour in this area. Outer space is also emerging as a major area of security concern. We must also continue to strengthen cooperation on non-proliferation,” he said. “India will continue to deepen bilateral security partnerships in ASEAN (sic) and with other EAS partners.” ‘

Fourthly, the prime minister sought an early conclusion of a regional comprehensive economic partnership. “Trans-Pacific Partnership is also a major development. These, I hope, will eventually not become competing regimes, but the foundations of an integrated economic community in the region,” Modi said.

“Five, development cooperation (is) at the heart of the East Asia Summit. India will continue to support the efforts of our partner countries. India is taking the lead in establishing EAS virtual knowledge portals on disaster management and trauma care and nursing,” he said. “The Nalanda University is shaping up as a world class centre of knowledge and learning.”

Modi also called for a concrete outcome in the Conference of Parties (CoP) 21 climate summit to be held in Paris later this month. “We are also days away from the summit on climate change in Paris. There, we must not only come together to craft a balanced and concrete outcome on climate change,” he said.

Latest News from World News Desk