India: Plugging terror ‘loopholes’
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism in the region and around the world.
During a speech on his first foreign visit since winning reelection, he told the Maldivian parliament in Male that “terrorism is not just a threat for a country but to the entire civilization.”
“The international community has actively arranged for global convention and many conferences on the threat of climate change. Why not on the issue of terrorism?” Modi said.
He called for a global conference “so that there can be meaningful and result-oriented discussions for plugging the loopholes that terrorists and their supporters exploit.”
India is pursuing what it calls a “neighborhood first” foreign policy centered on its allies in South Asia. Modi’s trip to the Maldives is being viewed as a statement of intent to counter the rise of China, which has been making strategic inroads in the Indian Ocean in recent years.
“In the neighborhood, Maldives is priority,” Modi said in his speech. (Pictured: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scatters rose petals at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat ahead of his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi, India.)
During the visit in June 2019, Modi signed a slew of agreements with the island nation encompassing ferry services, port terminals and a new national cricket stadium.
He stopped next in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, where security was high on the agenda. A wave of bombings on Easter Sunday killed more than 250 people across Sri Lanka. Reuters