Modi for Bimstec cooperation in anti-terror operations, natural disasters

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Kathmandu, Aug 30 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday sought cooperation among all seven Bimstec member-nations in anti-terror operations as well as during natural disasters in the region.

Addressing the 4th summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec), Modi said that there was no nation which was not affected by terrorism, adding that India was also facing problems like drug trafficking and transnational crimes. 

"India is ready to host a conference on these issues," he said.

"This region is linked with the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal, and time and again it faces natural disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes. In this context, we should extend cooperation in humanitarian efforts for disaster relief. We have to cooperate and coordinate with each other," Modi said. 

Kerala and Nagaland states in India have been affected by floods, while Myanmar is grappling with a similar situation after a dam breach. Several deaths have been reported in Nepal due to landslides.

Modi also invited all member-states to attend the International Buddhist Conclave in India in August 2020.

The Prime Minister added that India was committed to connecting its national knowledge network through digital connectivity with neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

He also promised to set up a centre for Bay of Bengal studies in the Nalanda University in Bihar to conduct research focused on Bimstec region.

"We not only have diplomatic relations with all seven Bimstec countries, but are strongly connected by civilisation, history, art, language, cuisine and a shared culture," he added.

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