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India, Brazil ink 15 pacts; unveil action plan to broadbase ties

India, Brazil ink 15 pacts; unveil action plan to broadbase ties

New Delhi: India and Brazil on Saturday inked 15 agreements to ramp up cooperation in a wide range of areas, including oil and gas, and unveiled an action plan to further broadbase their strategic ties after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro.

The two leaders also vowed to work closely at the global anti-terror watchdog FATF to effectively confront challenges of terror financing and state-sponsored terrorism.

Modi and Bolsonaro pitched for united global action to root out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupt terror networks and halt cross border movement of terrorists, according to a joint statement issued after the talks.

In the action plan, the two countries set specific goals for deeper cooperation in areas of defence and security, trade and commerce, agriculture, energy, civil aviation, environment, health and innovation

With a focus on boosting their stuttering economies, Modi and Bolsonaro decided to significantly expand bilateral cooperation in key sectors like energy and mining and set a target of USD 15 billion in bilateral trade by 2022. The volume of bilateral trade in 2018-10 was USD 8.2 billion.

The 15 agreements inked will provide for cooperation in a wide range of areas including oil and gas, mineral resources, traditional medicine, animal husbandry, bioenergy and trade and investment.

"Your visit to India has opened a new chapter in ties between India and Brazil," Modi said, summing up the outcome of his talks with Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro, a controversial figure in Brazilian politics, arrived here on Friday, accompanied by his daughter Laura Bolsonaro, daughter-in-law Leticia Firmo, eight ministers, four members of the Brazilian parliament and a large business delegation.

The Brazilian president will grace the Republic Day Parade as chief guest on Sunday.

In their dialogue, Modi and Bolsonaro also reiterated mutual support for India and Brazil's aspiration to become permanent members in an expanded UN Security Council.

Calling Brazil a valuable partner in India's economic growth, the prime minister said both the countries have been on the same page on various global issues and exuded confidence that the ties will strengthen further.

"Despite geographical distance, both India and Brazil are together on various global issues as there is convergence in our views," Modi said in his media statement in the presence of Bolsonaro.

The prime minister said focus is being given to new ways of boosting defence industrial cooperation.

"We want to have broad-based cooperation in defence," he added.

On his part Bolsonaro said the two countries have further consolidated the already strong ties by signing 15 agreements which will provide for cooperation in a range of areas.

According to the action plan, the two countries will encourage greater collaboration between their defence industrial bases and work together to conclude an agreement in combating international terrorism and transnational organised crime.

It mentioned that the two sides will strengthen established institutional mechanisms and promote coordination on bilateral, plurilateral and multilateral issues of mutual interest based on the principles of equality and trust.

In the talks, the two leaders agreed to have deeper bilateral cooperation against specific terrorist threats.

"They underlined the need for all countries to ensure that their territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries," the joint statement said without naming either Pakistan or any other country.

It said Modi and Bolsonaro reaffirmed that international terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security and called for concerted and coordinated global action to deal with the menace.

"The prime minister and the president of Brazil also reiterated the mutual interest to work closely in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in issues related to money laundering and financing of terrorism, state sponsored terrorism, etc," the joint statement said.

The FATF has piled up pressure on Pakistan to crackdown on terror networks operating from its soil.

A plenary meeting of the FATF in Paris next month will carry out a detailed review of whether Pakistan has complied with its action plan to contain terrorism.

Earlier, the Brazilian president was given a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind

and Modi.

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