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BRICS 2016: Terror Tops Modi-Xi Meet, China Leaves Door Open on Masood Azhar

India and China put up a united front against terrorism on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping saying it was a “scourge afflicting the entire region".

Parikshit Luthra | CNN-News18ParikshitL

Updated:October 15, 2016, 11:16 PM IST

Benaulim (Goa): India and China must not have any differences on the issue of terrorism and must find common ground in the UN Sanctions Committee. This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a 30-minute meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit on Saturday.

The meeting comes days after another face-off between New Delhi and Beijing at the United Nations, where China has virtually blocked India’s efforts to get Pathankot attack mastermind and Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar designated a terrorist.

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Modi discussed the issue with Xi on Saturday and reiterated the need to impose a travel ban on Azhar and freeze his assets, sources said.

"The Chinese side is very well aware of our concerns, and the need for us to ensure that globally notified terrorists are designated by the UN," Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters after the meeting.

"Both sides recognised terrorism as a key issue. President Xi said we should strengthen our security dialogue and partnership. Modi said that both India and China had been victims of terrorism which is a scourge afflicting the entire region," Swarup said.

China has so far maintained that India’s proposal to impose global sanctions on Azhar does not meet the criteria – the only nation to hold this view in the 15-member UN Sanctions Committee. Rest all have backed India.

Beijing’s technical hold on the proposal ends in three months and it will have to decide on the issue one way or the other.

Swarup said the issue will be discussed again in a meeting between the National Security Advisers of both countries. He, however, did not say when and where the meeting would take place.

The other contentious issue discussed in the meeting was India’s bid to enter the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group, where China wants the relaxations made for India to be made for Pakistan too.

Swarup said while one round of negotiations have taken place on the issue, “another round of dialogue will be held soon, which will be helpful”.

The BRICS Summit was officially underway on Saturday evening and will continue on Sunday where Modi will be hoping to further diplomatically isolate Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack and the subsequent surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terror camps in Pakistan-held territory.

ALSO READ: 'Old Friend' Russia Part of India's Anti-Terror War, Says PM Modi

Apart from security and counter-terror cooperation, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – or BRICS – will also focus on boosting trade ties and discuss measures to arrest the alarming rise in global warming.

The five emerging markets represent over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world population, and have a combined GDP of $16.6 trillion.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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