Following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, India and the Netherlands on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism and prevent radicalisation that could lead to violent extremism and called for a collective effort by the international community against this scourge."Expressing concern about the serious and grave threat posed by the spread of terrorism and violent extremism to both countries and the world, the Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to combat terrorism and prevent radicalisation that could lead to violent extremism and reiterated the need for a unified and collective effort by the international community to eliminate terrorism through a holistic approach," a joint communique stated.It said both Modi and Rutte stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and agreed that there should be zero-tolerance on terrorism.Like several other European nations, the Netherlands has also been a target of terrorism.
"They affirmed that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and bring to justice terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues," the statement said.In what can be seen as a veiled reference to Pakistan, it said "both leaders strongly condemned the use of double standards in addressing the menace of terrorism and agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system". The two Prime Ministers also called for early conclusion of negotiations on the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.Earlier ahead of their meeting, in a joint address to the media with Rutte, Modi said that India and the Netherlands were on the same page on several global issues. "Today the world is interdependent, inter-connected. It is natural that we will be discussing not only bilateral issues but also a slew of global issues," he said.Noting that the year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Modi stressed on strengthening people-to-people contacts through the Indian diaspora in the Netherlands.
He said the Indian diaspora are the links and bridge between the people of the two countries."In the last three years, the Netherlands has emerged as our third largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI). It is a natural partner in our needs and priorities for economic development," the Indian Prime Minister said.On his part, Rutte said that the Netherlands and India were together in many areas, including in areas of trade, water management, agriculture, logistics, innovation and science."India's emergence is a welcome development from both the political and economic point of view," he said.Stating that the Indian market has all the potential for Dutch businesses, he said the Netherlands too has a lot to offer to India."EU is India's biggest trading partner. Twenty per cent of India's exports to Europe enter through the Netherlands," the Dutch Prime Minister said, adding that the Netherlands' image as India's gateway is only expected to grow in the coming years. Modi also had an interaction with CEOs of Dutch companies.
There are 200 Dutch companies in India and vice-versa. Addressing the media, Ruchira Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that the Netherlands was an important economic partner of India.She said that during the interaction with Modi, the CEOs' interest focused on Ganga rejuvenation, food processing, sports and infrastructure among other areas. She said that the Netherlands expressed its support for India's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group."The Netherlands expressed its support for India's early membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. For the Australia Group the Netherlands welcomed India's recent application for membership," the joint communique stated.The Netherlands also reiterated its support for India's permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
The Prime Ministers agreed that the bilateral relations between India and the EU merited increased focus and attention, the communique said.
Stating that both Modi and Rutte noted a significant expansion in bilateral economic and commercial engagement, it stated: "A vast array of natural synergies provides ample opportunities for complementarity: in many sectors, India's needs match Dutch strengths and vice versa."
According to the communique, a key ingredient in the Indo-Dutch cooperation is the use of innovation and technology to improve water and waste management, thus contributing to the Clean India campaign. In her media briefing, Ghanashyam said that the Indian Prime Minister also had an audience with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima during the course of his day's engagements.Modi arrived here earlier in the day on the third and final leg of his three-nation tour that also took him to Portugal and the US.