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India: Ajit Doval Hosts Inaugural IBSA National Security Advisers Meeting

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On Wednesday, Indian National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval hosted the inaugural meeting of the National Security Adviser of the IBSA grouping. It is as part of the preparatory process for the next IBSA Summit of Leaders scheduled for September this year. The meeting was held virtually.

During the inaugural meeting, discussions were held on maritime security, the fight against terrorism and transnational organised crime and cyber security. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India, the theme of India’s Chairship under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “Democracy for Demography and Development”. It the first such meeting of National Security Advisers of 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 form part of the three large developing countries from different continent but bound by the common values of democracy and pluralism. They also are maritime nations.

The MEA stated, “During the meeting, discussions were held on maritime security, fight against terrorism and transnational organised crime and cyber security. 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 have also agreed on enhancing cooperation in intelligence sharing, exchange of best practices amongst concerned national agencies and capacity building.

Another topic considered was maritime security. It 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 has proposed cooperation among the defence industries based on the respective strengths of each country and the pooling of resources for joint development of platforms, including naval platform.

Representatives of three countries have 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.

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