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Pretoria, June 4 (IANS) With India seeking joint action by the BRICS member states against terrorist financing and money laundering, the grouping on Monday called upon all countries to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories.

“The ministers deplored the continued terrorist attacks, including in some BRICS countries,” said a joint statement issued following a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers meeting here which was also attended by Indian External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

“They condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever,” it stated.

The BRICS Foreign Ministers also called for concerted efforts to counter terrorism under the UN auspices “on a firm international legal basis, and expressed their conviction that a comprehensive approach was necessary to ensure effective fight against terrorism”.

“They recalled the responsibility of all states to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories,” the statement said in what can be seen as a veiled reference to Pakistan.

The ministers also called for an expedited adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN General Assembly.

Earlier on Monday, in her address at the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, Sushma Swaraj called for joint action by the grouping against money laundering and financing of terrorists.

She said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy with joint action against money-laundering, terrorist financing, cyber-space security and de-radicalization being priorities.

“Our leaders have also called for making UN Counter Terrorism framework efficient and effective,” she said.

“We reiterate our commitment to implement our Leaders’ mandate on counter terrorism under South Africa’s BRICS Chairship.”

According to the joint statement, the ministers expressed their concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, particularly the increase in the number and intensity of terrorist-related attacks on the Afghan National Security Forces, the government and civilians.

“The ministers called on the international community to assist the government and the people of Afghanistan with stabilising the security situation in the country as well as for the return of dialogue with the objective of working towards the realisation of peace in the country and an inclusive political process,” the statement said.

The ministers also expressed their concern over the ongoing conflict and heightened tensions in the Middle East region, especially with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

“The ministers reiterate the need for renewed diplomatic efforts to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Initiative and previous agreements between the parties through negotiations with a view to create an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” the statement said.

“The ministers reiterated that the status of Jerusalem is one of the final status issues to be defined in the context of negotiations between Israel and Palestine.”

They also reaffirmed their commitment for a political resolution of the conflict in Syria, “through an inclusive ‘Syrian-led, Syrian-owned’ political process which safeguards the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria, in pursuance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and taking into account the result of the Congress of the Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi”.

On UN Security Council reforms, the ministers underscored the importance of sustained efforts aimed at making the UN more effective and efficient in implementing the mandates conferred upon it.

“In this regard, they committed to intensifying dialogue amongst the BRICS countries on the administration and budget of the United Nations, with a view to strengthening the organisation and preserving its member state-driven character,” the statement said.

Brazil and India, apart from Germany and Japan, are part of the G4 that is seeking permanent membership in the UNSC.

“The ministers expressed their support for continued cooperation of BRICS members in areas of mutual interest including through regular exchanges amongst their multilateral missions,” the statement said.

India

AAP will Support Congress if Next PM is From Grand Old Party: Amanatullah Khan

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Amanatullah Khan

New Delhi, Jan 23: Openly announcing support for Rahul Gandhi in 2019, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan on Wednesday said that the party would extend support to the grand old party as there is much likelihood that the next Prime Minister would be from the Congress .

“Abhi bahar mujhse koi keh raha tha ki log keh rahe hain ki Congress ko vote isliye denge kyunki Pradhanmantri unka banega, hum ye keh rahe hain ki agar Pradhanmantri unka hi bana toh hum bhi usey support kar denge,” Khan said indicating that 2019 is Modi vs Rahul Gandhi.

The major statement by AAP’s Amanatullah Khan was made in the presence of Chief Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Waqf Board meeting.

The chairman of the board, urged the Imams of the city mosques to support the AAP and said, “People are saying they will vote for the Congress because the next prime minister will be from that party.

Muslim voters should elect AAP in Delhi and if Congress wins at the Centre, “it will draw our support”, he said.

Kejriwal also said that his party will support anyone except Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

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India

INA veterans to march in Republic day parade

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New Delhi: The Indian Air Force Marching Contingent on Rajpath during Republic Day Parade 2018

New Delhi, Jan 23 : For the first time, four veterans from the Indian National Army (INA) of Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose will take part in the Republic Day parade on Rajpath.

The move is considered as an unprecedented honor for freedom fighters and the acknowlegmentof the contribution of INA in the Indian independence

According to the report, the veterans- Parmanand, Lalit Ram, Hira Singh and Bhagmal. The four are aged 95 plus.
The four veterans, who fought World War II, will be seated in jeeps that will march past Rajpath during the Republic Day parade.

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India

Piyush Goyal given temporary charge of Finance

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Piyush Goyal

New Delhi, Jan 23 : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was on Wednesday given charge of Finance Ministry in the absence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is in the US for medical treatment, apparently ruling out his recuperation in time for the interim budget to be presented on February 1.

Goyal will hold the portfolios of Finance and Corporate Affairs on a temporary basis till the resumption of duties by Jaitley, who has now been made a Minister without portfolio, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said.

Jaitley (66) had a kidney transplant in May last year and then too Goyal was put in charge of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

“The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, hereby directed that during the period of indisposition of Arun Jaitley, the portfolios of Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs held by him, be temporarily assigned to Piyush Goyal, in addition to his existing portfolios.

“Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, Arun Jaitley be designated as Minister without portfolio during the period of his indisposition or till such time he is able to resume his work as Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs,” the communique said.

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