“Terrorism is a serious threat to humanity”: Theresa May’s whistlestop trip to India
Prime Minister Theresa May visited India during 6th to 8th November at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This was her first bilateral visit outside Europe after taking over as the Prime Minister of the UK.
The visit was designed to further strengthen the India–UK Strategic Partnership, guided by a shared vision for the future and supported by a concrete and comprehensive roadmap of bilateral and global engagement.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Prime Minister May and discussed all aspects of India-UK relations.
She wore a colourful sari on the final day of her visit, as she declared the trade mission a success in her drive to build a ‘global Britain’.
Mrs May wore the traditional Indian clothing as she visited the Sri Someshwara Hindu temple in the southern city of Bangalore, which has become the IT sector hub of the sub-continent.
In Bangalore, she visited a Dynamatic Technologies factory where Indian workers assemble components machined in the company's Swindon and Bristol facilities for Airbus jets.
Mrs May also joined flag-waving children at the city's Stonehill Primary School to witness a flypast of Indian Air Force jets and helicopters in her honour.
The flypast was the first of its kind offered to a visiting head of government and followed a similar display by the Red Arrows during Mr Modi's visit to the UK last year.
The Prime Minister had a garland of flowers placed around her neck as she arrived at the temple to the sound of musicians playing drums and horns.
The visit ended with Mrs May taking part in a Hindu blessing, drawing her hands together across the top of a candle flame and touching her eyes, in a traditional ritual. She was then given red powder to dab a single spot on her forehead.
She later welcomed plans for the Science Museum in London to host a season of exhibitions and events dedicated to Indian innovation next year as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017-18.
Mrs May said: "This celebration of India's rich culture and history of innovation is another clear demonstration of the close ties between our two countries."
During her visit, Prime Minister May strongly condemned the September terrorist attack on the Indian Army Brigade headquarters in Uri, and offered condolences to the victims and their families.
The two leaders strongly affirmed that terrorism is a ‘serious threat to humanity’.
They reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever – agreeing that there should be zero tolerance of terrorism.
India and the United Kingdom have both suffered the human cost of terrorism, and now work in partnership to tackle the threat terrorism and violent extremism poses.
Both the UK and India understand the increasingly transnational challenge of terrorism which demands multilateral as well as bilateral cooperation.
International cooperation to combat terrorism is at the core of successfully denying terrorists the space to radicalise, recruit and conduct attacks.
The two leaders welcomed the ongoing bilateral counter terrorism cooperation and called for greater sharing of information between the two sides.
Both countries agreed to collaborate with each other to reduce the threat from violent extremist use of the internet, including the sharing of best practices to reduce radicalisation and recruitment attempts online.
The two prime ministers 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.
There should be no glorification of terrorists or efforts to make a distinction between good and bad terrorists. They agreed that South Asia should be stable, prosperous and free from terror and called on all countries to work towards that goal.
Both prime ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism poses one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and in this regard called for concerted global action without selectivity.
The two leaders called for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation.
The leaders welcomed the recent UK-initiated joint statement on Preventing Violent Extremism launched at the Global Countering Terrorism Forum in New York.
The two leaders also called for strengthening the existing international counter terrorism legal framework including through the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
Both May and Modi reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot attack to justice.