NAY PYI TAW, March 4 � The BIMSTEC countries on Tuesday agreed to expedite the ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking.
The Third BIMSTEC Declaration, adopted at the conclusion of the Summit, expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between law-enforcement agencies of the Member States in combating terrorism and transnational crimes, and called for expediting the ratification of the BIMSTEC Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Transnational Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking. It also for the early signing of the BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, in his address, had called upon the member countries to seek early ratification of the anti-terror treaty and early signing of the Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. �We should also commence negotiations on a BIMSTEC Convention on Extradition,� he had recommended.
India is deeply concerned over the presence of militants and Maoists bases in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal in particular.
Meanwhile, the BIMSTEC expressed satisfaction at the continuing work on developing physical connectivity in the region and the progress made in updating the BTILS supported by the Asian Development Bank for enhancement of intra-regional connectivity, transport infrastructure and logistics. It also welcomed efforts to identify concrete projects for implementation.
The BIMSTEC reiterated its commitment to expand efforts to further promote people-to-people exchanges and linkages at various levels among the Member States, including facilitating travels through the BIMSTEC Business Visa Scheme and the BIMSTEC Visa Exemption Scheme. It lauded the setting up of the BIMSTEC Network of Policy Think Tanks and the willingness to cooperate and coordinate for organising short-term activities such as workshops, seminars and exchange programmes, including audio-visual programmes, on building public awareness on the BIMSTEC.