Malaysia, India urge nations to resolve SCS dispute

Malaysia, India urge nations to resolve SCS dispute
Malaysia and India today urged countries to resolve the South China Sea dispute without resorting to threat, by exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoiding unilateral actions that may increase tensions.

They also emphasised that all parties should show utmost respect to the United Nations Convention on Laws of Seas (UNCLOS), 1982 which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans.

Malaysia is one of the claimants to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
The two leaders reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and overflight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law and UNCLOS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two sides were conscious of their role and responsibility in promoting economic prosperity, freedom of navigation, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, especially its oceans.

The two leaders also welcomed the strong cooperation in the areas of defence and security and resolved to conclude an MoU on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Transnational Crime, apart from agreeing to finalise the Treaty on Transfer of Prisoners.

They also welcomed operationalisation of mechanism for sharing information intelligence, including for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and white shipping.

White shipping information refers to exchange of relevant advance information on the identity and movement of commercial non-military merchant vessels.

"Our wide ranging defence partnership has already brought our armed forces closer. We are cooperating in training, capacity building, maintenance of equipment and military hardware, maritime security and in disaster response," Modi said.

Modi termed the signing of an agreement on recognition of equivalence of the degrees awarded by educational institutions in the two countries as a "welcome step" while Najib said it would be "mutually beneficial" for students.

An MoU between Association of Indian Universities (AIU), India and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Malaysia on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications was signed here.

The MoU establishes recognition of equivalence of the various degrees awarded by educational institutions in the two countries, and envisages the eventual signing of a mutual recognition agreement between the two education/higher education ministries following technical consultations.

Najib said Malaysia will liberalise its public universities and allocate 15 per cent of seats in medicines for international students. "We believe that Indian students can also avail opportunities in Malaysia," he said.

The two leaders also welcomed the signing of an MoU between Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia and National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, in December 2016, envisaging cooperation in the field of education, training, research and popularisation of Ayurveda system of medicine in Malaysia.

They expressed satisfaction on the finalisation of the MoU to establish a Chair for Ayurveda in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia – the first such initiative in Malaysia in Indian traditional medicine.

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