BIMSTEC members mull over common security strategies

KATHMANDU: Member nations of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) on Tuesday discussed developing common security strategies to combat common challenges.

During the first meeting of the BIMSTEC national security chiefs in New Delhi yesterday, the delegates also highlighted that BIMSTEC member states face common security challenges and underlined the necessity of addressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges to harness economic prosperity and human security in the region, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs informed in a statement.

Armed Police Force Inspector General Singha Bahadur Shrestha had led the Nepal delegation during the regional meet chaired by India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"Given that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in the Bay of Bengal region, the Meeting recognised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation and decided to take concrete measures to enhance cooperation and coordination among their law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations and enhance capacity building," the statement read, "BIMSTEC member states were also invited for a Conference on Counter-Radicalisation to be hosted by India."

The delegation chiefs of all the member states had a joint meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, the meeting also decided to establish a Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum to promote and encourage security dialogue in the region.

The BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat held in Goa, India, on 16 October 2016 had decided to conduct such a meeting.

The next meeting of the security chiefs would be held in Bangladesh next year.