Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed his commitment to work with member states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, to counter terrorism and improve regional connectivity.
In his address at the fourth BIMSTEC summit, which is being held in Nepal’s Capital Kathmandu, Modi pushed for collaboration on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.
The BIMSTEC member states are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The member countries account for 22% of the global population and have a combined Gross Domestic Product of $2.8 trillion, according to The Indian Express.
The prime minister said New Delhi was willing to host the group’s conference on narcotics-related challenges. “There is no country in the region which has not suffered from terrorism and trans-national crimes such as drug trafficking linked to networks of terrorism,” Modi added.
He expressed India’s commitment to improve digital connectivity with Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other countries.
During the day, Modi met Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari along with the leaders of the other member states. Modi also met Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed “various aspects” of bilateral ties with him.
He also tweeted a picture of his meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and announced they had discussed bilateral economic relations. “We reviewed the full range of India-Bangladesh relations and ways to boost economic as well as cultural relations.” the prime minister added.