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Bangladesh and six other countries of South and South East Asia have agreed that “strong measures” are needed against states which encourage, finance and provide sanctuary to terrorists and resolved to expedite ratification of a regional convention against terrorism.

The heads of states and governments, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, reached at an agreement during the BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit at the BIMSTEC leaders’ Retreat in Indian state of Goa on Sunday.

The “BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat 2016 Outcome Document”, which was made public today, recognised that terrorism “continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability in our region” and reiterated “strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

It stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the recent barbaric terror attacks in the region. We strongly believe that our fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against States who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues,” said the document.

The BIMSTEC leaders said there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs.

The seven member-countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) including India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan also agreed to explore the possibility of a motor vehicles agreement among them on the line of a similar deal involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.

Referring to physical connectivity among BIMSTEC countries, the document said, “Being convinced that the development of connectivity in various forms and manifestations is the key to promote regional integration, we express satisfaction at the continuing efforts and initiatives to advance multi-modal physical connectivity (air, rail, roads and waterways) in the BIMSTEC region.”
Noting with satisfaction the progress achieved in implementation of the recommendations of the BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistics Study, the leaders agreed to explore the possibility of having a BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement.

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