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India, Qatar to combat terror financing

By The Assam Tribune

DOHA, June 5 - India and Qatar today agreed to share intelligence to combat �hawala� transactions and terror financing as the two countries signed seven agreements and decided to move beyond the trading relationship and get into strategic investments.

The two sides highlighted the need to �isolate� the sponsors and supporters of terrorism and agreed that urgent action against all such entities, which support terrorism and use it as an instrument of policy, must be taken.

At the end of wide-ranging talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit, had with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Qatari leadership, the two sides decided to constitute an inter-ministerial high-level joint committee to regularly review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

�Crucial agreements were signed today, which will give new strength to India-Qatar ties,� said Modi. �Sheikh Tamim and I had wide ranging talks on how India and Qatar can further expand bilateral ties,� he tweeted.

An MoU was signed between the Finance Intelligence Unit-India (FIU) and Qatar Financial Information Unit to share intelligence on illegal movement of money, termed as �hawala�. �The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money,� a joint statement issued after the talks said.

There is a lot of money flow and investment from Qatar. A number of black money investigations have taken Indian authorities to Qatar�s shores and such an MoU is seen as a move to help combat money offences.

Under this pact, the two sides also agreed to exchange financial intelligence to combat terrorism financing and other economic offences.

Briefing reporters, Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said: �They (Qatari side) also realise that terror does pose a threat to both of us and to our region... Both the sides felt that time has come that we need to move beyond the trading relationship and get into strategic investments.�

Cooperation and investment in areas of skill development and education, health, tourism and sports between the two countries were the other agreements signed by Indian and Qatar officials in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

Earlier, Modi was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour at the Emiri Diwan that was followed with official bilateral talks between the two leaders. � PTI

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