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Need to strengthen global counter-terrorism mechanism: Prez

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New Delhi, Apr 29 : President Pranab Mukherjee has said there is an urgent need to strengthen the global counter-terrorism mechanism so that the menace can be fought jointly by the international community.

At a banquet hosted in honour of visiting President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, Mukherjee said both India and Cyprus suffer from the scourge of terrorism.

“This global menace needs to be fought by all civilised societies and countries not just individually, but at a bilateral, regional and global level,” he said welcoming the Cypriot president on his first-ever state visit to India.

Mukherjee stressed there is an urgent need to strengthen the global counter-terrorism legal framework to combat the scourge of international terrorism.

“India seeks to build a broad consensus at the United Nations for finalisation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and early adoption of the CCIT in the United Nations,” he said.

Mukherjee said almost all Presidents of Cyprus before Anastasiades have paid a visit to India and therefore, India feels honoured that he has maintained that tradition.

He said India values its longstanding and close friendship with Cyprus.

“India-Cyprus relationship is pinned on the foundation of ideological commonalities of our founding fathers Mahatma Gandhi and Archbishop Makarios,” he said.

Mukherjee said India lauds the economic recovery of Cyprus under the leadership of Anastasiades, particularly its return to a positive rate of growth among the fastest in the European Union.

In recent years, he said, India has seen rapid economic progress – despite the global slowdown – and achieved a steady growth rate of about 7 per cent.

“We welcome Cyprus to take advantage of our flagship programmes like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ – and join India’s growth story,” he said.

Mukherjee said India’s information technology sector as also the renewable energy, natural gas and hydrocarbons, sustainable tourism, infrastructure and health and wellness sectors are open for partnerships and foreign investment.

He said the recent signing of the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement is a good step in this direction.

He expressed confidence that this state visit will result in new initiatives in all these areas of immense potential.

PTI

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