Modi discusses fighting radicalisation with leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Sweden

New York, Sep 26 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed ways of combatting radicalisation with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in separate meetings on Friday.

In talks with the three leaders, the threat from ISIS and other radical groups came up, according to external affairs ministry Spokesman Vikas Swarup. They talked about ways to counter radicalisation in this context.

Modi met Abdullah at Hotel Mandarin, where he was staying – so far the only trip Modi has taken out of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to specifically visit a leader at his lodging.

The king said that the ISIS posed a major threat to the world, according to Swarup. To counter radicalisation, Modi told him, terrorism must be delinked from religion. He also advocated for the Comprehensive Convention Against Terrorism, which has been languishing due to opposition from certain countries over the definition of terrorists.

Abdullah backed Security Council reforms and supported India’s bid for a permanent seat.

Besides how to counter radicalisation and terror, Modi and el-Sisi discussed economic issues. The New Suez Canal that was recently opened offered India investment opportunities, Modi was told during the bilateral meeting at the UN.

Lofven, who came to Waldorf Astoria to meet Modi, discussed with him the threat from the ISIS and radicalisation.

Modi invited Sweden to participate in his “Make in India” and “Skills India” initiatives. Among areas that the two countries can cooperate, Modi mentioned railways for which he has ambitious expansion plans.

On Security Council reform, Modi received reaffirmation of Swedish support for a permanent seat.

While at the UN, Modi met Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia, a small Caribbean island nation of 173,000 people. Anthony told Modi that he appreciated the importance he gave to small countries like his. India has been actively pursuing diplomatic and developmental efforts with Small Island Developing States group, which has 52 members, including St. Lucia.

The deep ties between India and Cyprus that go back to the early days of the Non-Aligned Movement were recalled during Modi’s meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the Waldorf Astoria. Both Anastasiades and Modi expressed appreciation for the way each the two nations had stood by the other over the years.

Anastasiades said the two countries could cooperate in high-tech areas and in shipping.

Since Cyprus is in the European Union, Modi talked about expanding ties with the bloc, but also mentioned some of the trade problems India had with the EU. One of them was the EU holding up 700 drugs based on the report of one inspector.

Anastasiades also said he supported India’s bid for permanent membership in the Security Council.

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