Bilateral Current Affairs
Bilateral Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2016
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) Cabinet nod for MoU with UAE to prevent human trafficking

  • The Union Cabinet on 13th April discussed the five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh on fisheries. The MoU, signed in September 2011 is due to expire this year and can be extended if mutually agreed upon.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was apprised about how the MoU on bilateral cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities had strengthened friendly relations through mutually agreed activities and procedures.
  • The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years unless either of the parties give prior written notice of at least six months in advance to the other party of its intention to terminate the MoU. This MoU could be extended for further period as may be mutually agreed upon,” an official release said.

2) MoU with UAE

  • The Cabinet also gave its nod for signing of MoU with United Arab Emirates on cooperation in preventing and combating human trafficking.
  • The MoU will strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially of women and children, and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organised crime syndicates in either country
  • Anti-trafficking cells and task forces will work on both sides to prevent human trafficking, it said, adding that repatriation of victims would be done as expeditiously as possible.


3) Wildlife network

  • The Cabinet also approved of India adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and becoming its formal member to strengthen ties with member countries in controlling trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.
  • SAWEN, a regional network, comprises eight countries in South Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
4) India, US to collaborate on tackling offshore tax evasion
  • India and the United States have agreed to enhance collaboration on tackling offshore tax evasion and increase co-operation in sharing of cross-border tax information. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew co-chaired the 6th US-India Economic and Financial Partnership on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington on 13th April.
  • A joint statement issued after the meeting said that the two leaders look forward to the Competent Authorities of the two countries engaging in bilateral dialogue to move forward cooperation in these areas. It said, the two nations resolved a significant portion of bilateral tax disputes. Mr Jaitley and Mr Lew were joined by other senior officials from both sides including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan.
  • Both leaders noted the progress in sharing of financial information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement pursuant to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The statement said, India and US will continue to engage in discussions on full reciprocal arrangement on the FATCA.
  • Acknowledging enhanced co-operation in tackling money laundering and combating financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and cooperation, the two leaders agreed on the importance of fighting illicit finance in all forms as an important means of tackling global terrorism.
  • The joint statement also said, US will support India`s endeavour to find ways to fund its massive drive for building modern infrastructure and to create more jobs. Mr Jaitley said, both the countries are working together to support India`s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund in order to increase financing options for India`s infrastructure growth.

5) India and Saudi Arabia reject any attempt to link terrorism with any race or religion

  • Current Affirs India and Saudi Arabia have totally rejected any attempt to link terrorism with any race, religion or culture. In a joint statement issued during Prime Minister, Narendra Modi`s visit to Saudi Arabia on 3rd April, the two sides called on all nations to reject the use of terrorism against other countries.
  • Mr. Modi and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud agreed to further strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism, both at the bilateral level and within the multi-lateral system of the UN. Two leaders also agreed to work together towards the adoption of India`s proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.
  • The two leaders strongly condemned the phenomenon of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations irrespective of who the perpetrators are and their motivations.
  • The two leaders also agreed to promote cooperation in cyber security including prevention of use of cyber space for terrorism, radicalization and for disturbing social harmony.
  • Five agreements: India and Saudi Arabia have signed five agreements and MoUs in Riyadh on 3rd April. These include an agreement on Labour Co-operation for recruitment of general category workers and technical cooperation program between the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO).
  • An MEA release said, other agreements include executive program for cooperation in the field of handicrafts between the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
  • An framework agreement on Investment Promotion Cooperation between Invest India and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) has also been signed. Financial Intelligence Unit of India and Saudi Arabia have signed an MoU for exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes.
  • PM Modi gifts Saudi King: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud a gold-plated replica of the Cheraman Juma Masjid of Kerala. Situated in Thrissur district, the mosque is believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD. The mosque has an ancient oil lamp that is always kept burning and believed to be over a thousand years old. People from all religions bring oil for the lamp as an offering.

6) India takes up Masood Azhar veto case with China

  • India has taken up with Beijing at a high level the issue of China vetoing a UN bid to declare Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad`s leader Masood Azhar a terrorist.
  • Foreign secretary S Jaishankar said in New Delhi that it is an issue that has to be pursued in the UN context. However, Mr Jaishankar indicated that the Azhar issue will not affect India`s relationship with China in other areas.
  • India had approached the UN in February to include Masood Azhar in the UN Security Council`s 1267 sanctions list, in the aftermath of the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase by JeM terrorists.
  • But it was last week put on hold for the second time by China, a close friend of Pakistan. China requested the UN sanctions committee to keep on hold the move to ban Masood Azhar.