India, Malaysia to fight Islamic State together: Najib Razak

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Narendra Modi hails mutual recognition of academic degrees

India and Malaysia on Saturday agreed to cooperate to defeat Islamic State militants and the growing threat of radicalisation and extremism. Visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak held talks here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sealed six agreements, while extending support to India for a greater role in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific region.

“Malaysia and India will cooperate to fight the IS [Islamic State] and deal with radicalisation. We will also share our experience of de-radicalisation with India. We plan to hold a major conference on de-radicalisation jointly,” Prime Minister Razak said during his statement to the media at Hyderabad House, explaining that India and Malaysia ties are at a “historic high”.

Greater synergy

Mr. Razak, who spent a day in Chennai upon his arrival in the country on Thursday, expressed support for greater synergy with India on the security front, especially in the maritime domain, and said, “We appreciate the greater role of India in the maritime security of the Asia-Pacific region.” The visiting delegation’s comments on the maritime issue is significant as both the countries have been demanding freedom of navigation in the South East Asian region, where China has been flexing muscles and has claimed most of the South China Sea.

The visiting dignitary’s comments about greater cooperation to fight the extremism of the IS followed the exchange of six bilateral agreements.

Both sides signed agreements on air services, sports, human resources, palm oil production and research, and technological development. An agreement that will allow India to build a fertilizer plant in Malaysia was also signed.

In his statement, Mr. Modi described the fertilizer plant as an important development. He urged Malaysia to participate in India’s infrastructure sector and said that bilateral defence has come to cover training and maintenance in the military field. Mr. Modi also highlighted educational cooperation and said, “Mutual recognition in educational degrees is a landmark development”.

A bilateral joint statement issued by the India-Malaysia CEOs Forum emphasised the need for visa-free travel for Indians and Malaysians as travel and tourism in both countries contribute to their economic growth. “Additionally, Malaysia should support and champion the introduction of the ASEAN common visa for travellers from outside the region, including India,” the statement said.

Both sides also highlighted that Malaysia would allow Indian Ayurveda and Siddha practitioners to serve in that country. As part of the move to popularise courses in Ayurveda, the government of Malaysia and the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman would provide courses in Ayurveda.

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