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India-Saudi Arabia adopt ‘Manama Declaration’, join hands against cross-border crime

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Bahrain: Following the maiden India, Saudi Arabia ministerial meeting in Bahrain, both nations adopted the Manama Declaration in which they have condemned terrorism in all its forms and rejected associating terrorism with religion while called for an urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council.

The first ministerial meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum took place in Manama today during the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain, the two sides recalled the historic and civilizational ties that exist between the Arab World and India and underlined the contribution of the commercial and cultural ties in binding the two sides together.

They confirmed their commitment to maintain international peace and security and to achieve sustainable development and expressed their commitment to work together to tackle political and economic challenges through closer consultation, cooperation and coordination in various fields.

Strongly condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and rejecting associating terrorism with any religion, both nations emphasized the need for concerted regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and to address its causes and to develop a strategy to eliminate the sources of terrorism and extremism including its funding, as well as combating organized cross-border crime.

The sides called for an urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council through expansion in both permanent and non-permanent membership to reflect contemporary reality.

They agreed that the current structure of the UN Security Council was not ‘representative of a majority of the people of the world but continued to perpetuate a system that was anachronistic’.

The Arab side expressed hope for an effective Indian role, in cooperation with Arab States, to enhance peace and security at the regional and international level.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in an irreversible manner and agreed to strengthen collaboration to achieve this important objective according to relevant UN Resolutions.

They agreed that nuclear disarmament can be achieved through a practical step-by-step process underwritten by a universal commitment and an agreed multilateral framework.

The two sides expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting the first India-Arab Ministerial Meeting and for the warm and gracious hospitality extended to all the delegations and for the good preparations which contributed to the success of this meeting.

They also welcomed holding the second India-Arab ministerial meeting of the forum in India. (ANI)

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