India is committed to work with the BIMSTEC member states to enhance regional connectivity and combat the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Kathmandu on Thursday afternoon.
Addressing the inaugural session of the 4th BIMSTEC summit, Prime Minister Modi also called for “cooperation and coordination” among member states in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
“There is no country in the region which has not suffered from terrorism and trans-national crimes such as drug trafficking linked to networks of terrorism,” he told the summit which was inaugurated by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.
Modi said India is ready to host a conference under BIMSTEC frame-work on narcotics related topics.
Making a strong pitch for connectivity among BIMSTEC countries, PM @narendramodi said: I believe that there is a big opportunity for Connectivity – Trade connectivity, Economic connectivity,
Digital connectivity, and
People-to-People connectivity. pic.twitter.com/vUzs1B5Sn5
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 30, 2018
The BIMSTEC is a regional grouping comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. The grouping accounts for 22 per cent of the global population, and has a combined gross domestic product of USD 2.8 trillion.
“We not only have diplomatic relations with all BIMSTEC countries but are strongly connected by civilisation, history, art, language, cuisine and shared culture,” Prime Minister Modi said.
He also said that India was committed to enhance its national knowledge network in the field of digital connectivity in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The summit was attended by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and leaders from Thailand, Bhutan and Myanmar.
(With inputs from PTI)