India, Brazil, S Africa discuss maritime security, terrorism

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National Security Advisor Ajit Doval chaired the inaugural meet under the IBSA, a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa…reports Sumit Kumar Singh

India hosted the maiden India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA)meet on Wednesday where the National Security Advisors of the three countries discussed maritime security, and the fight against terrorism, and transnational organised crime

“The emerging cyber and unmanned threats were also discussed during the meeting,” said a senior government officer.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval chaired the inaugural meet under the IBSA, a trilateral, developmental initiative between India, Brazil and South Africa to promote South-South cooperation and exchange.

The meeting was convened as part of the preparatory process for the next IBSA Summit of Leaders which is scheduled to take place during India’s chairmanship of IBSA, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the theme “Democracy for Demography and Development”.

This was the first such meeting of the NSAs of the IBSA countries, reflecting the importance of closer cooperation among the three countries to meet growing political and security challenges in the world.

India, Brazil and South Africa are three large developing countries located in three different continents bound by common values of democracy and pluralism. They are also all maritime nations.

During the discussions, participants agreed that terrorism, in particular, cross-border terrorism undertaken through state sponsorship, continues to be the most potent threat to global peace and security and must be fought through united efforts.

They also agreed to enhance cooperation in intelligence sharing, exchange of best practices amongst concerned national agencies, and capacity building.

Maritime security was identified as an important area of future cooperation. It was agreed to strengthen mechanisms to combat piracy and drug and human trafficking and ensure security of sea lines of communication and energy and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, including fishing.

The next round of the trilateral ‘IBSAMAR’ maritime exercise will be held at the earliest. India also invited Brazil and South Africa for the MILAN naval exercise in 2022.

India also proposed cooperation among the defence industries based on respective strengths of each country and pooling of resources for joint development of platforms, including naval platforms.

Representatives of the three countries also agreed to enhance practical cooperation in cyber security and accepted India’s offer to organise an Experts Group Meeting on Cyber Security.

“They also agreed to further strengthen coordination within the UN on cyber and ICT issues,” a Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

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