India, Malaysia discuss counter-terrorism, defence cooperation

New Delhi, Jan 26 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak discussed counter-terrorism, defence and security cooperation, among a number of other issues at a bilateral meeting on Friday, an official said.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership here.

Describing Malaysia as an important strategic partner, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the "two leaders had an engaging discussion on defence and security, trade and investment, counter-terrorism and people-to-people links".

India and Malaysia elevated their relationship to that of a Strategic Partnership during the visit of then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the southeast Asian nation in 2010.

Malaysia is India's third largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc after Indonesia and Singapore.

India-Malaysia bilateral trade in 2016 stood at (Dollar) 11.72 billion.

At 2.7 million, Malaysia is home to one of the largest Indian diaspora in the world, accounting for nearly 10 per cent of the southeast Asian nation's population.

Home to a large Tamil-speaking population, the Malaysian Indian Congress is a member of the ruling coalition.

Earlier on Friday, Razak was among all the 10 heads of state or government of the Asean nations who attended this year's Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour, an unprecedented first.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, who arrived here on Wednesday, participated in the Commemorative Summit hosted by New Delhi on Thursday to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership.

Apart from Malaysia, the Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.



Source: IANS