New Delhi: Resolving to expand cooperation in combating terrorism, India and the UAE on Friday said states must control activities of 'non-state actors' and cut all support to terror outfits operating from their soil while strongly condemning use of religion to justify, support and sponsor the menace.
The two countries came out strongly against use terrorism as an "instrument of state policy" and called for concerted global efforts to deal with the menace, in a joint statement issued a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held extensive talks.
It said the two sides agreed to bolster strategic ties by continuing to work closely together on a range of security issues, particularly on counter-terrorism, maritime security, and cyber-security, while reaffirming their respect for the "bedrock principles" of national sovereignty and non-interference.
The UAE, which has a sovereign wealth fund of around $800 billion, has also expressed keen interest in boosting trade ties with India, particularly in investing in sectors like oil, railways, roads, ports and shipping.
On dealing with terrorism, they deplored the "use of double standards" in addressing the challenge and agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system.
Modi and Al Nahyan also discussed the growing phenomenon of religious intolerance and radicalisation and pitched for sincere efforts to check these, besides agreeing to take steps to contain these bilaterally.
"They reiterated their condemnation for efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries, or to use terrorism as instrument of state policy.
"They further deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and pointed out the responsibility of all states to control the activities of the so-called 'non-state actors', and to cut all support to terrorists operating and perpetrating terrorism from their territories against other states," the statement said.
The threat posed by IS also figured in talks on Thursday.
It said the two sides agreed to work together towards the adoption of India's proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.
The joint statement said the Indian side expressed deep appreciation for the solidarity expressed by the UAE on the issue of Pathankot terrorist attack.
"The two sides noted that the Indian and UAE models act as strong bulwarks against the forces of extremism and radicalism," it said, adding the leaders also agreed to establish an annual Policy Dialogue to discuss issues related to peace and security in their region.
Both the countries had on Thursday signed seven MoUs providing for cooperation in a range of areas such as cyber security, infrastructure investment and insurance.
In the area of defence cooperation, the two sides renewed their commitment to strengthening the existing cooperation in training, joint exercises, and participation in defence exhibitions, as well as in identifying opportunities to cooperate on production of defence equipment in India.
"The two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean region, which is vital for the security and prosperity of both countries," the statement said.
Modi also thanked the Crown Prince for the UAE's support for India's candidature for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council.
Assessing that their ties have never been stronger and expressing satisfaction at the direction of engagement, the two leaders announced their decision to enshrine the new strategic direction of the UAE-India ties in a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.
On the trade front, the two sides examined various tariff and non-tariff barriers, and agreed to enhance the trade of priority commodities and expand the access of goods and services in both markets.
The joint statement said Modi invited the UAE to be a partner in India's growth story, and to participate in projects creating mega industrial manufacturing corridors,
including the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as well as the Digital India and Startup India programmes.
Talking about various initiatives, including signing of an MoU to facilitate investment by UAE companies in India's infrastructure sector, the two sides described them as important steps towards reaching the $75 billion target for UAE's investments in India.
Modi and Al Nahyan also discussed possible expansion of air routes in the civil aviation sector and agreed to convene talks between their respective civil aviation authorities in the first quarter of 2016.
Agreeing to expand ties in the oil sector, they welcomed the intention of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) to sign an MoU on establishing a Strategic Petroleum Reserve in India, and resolved to conclude negotiations in the near future.