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India not going to join any coalition against Islamic State: MEA

India not going to join any coalition against Islamic State: MEA

Washington: India is not going to join "any coalition" in the ongoing fight against the dreaded Islamic State group in West Asia but agreed to work with the US to deal with the "major issue" of flight of radicalised people to that region for terror strikes.

The Indian stand over any participation in the US-led coalition air strikes in the war on terrorism against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria was outlined by an official of Ministry of External Affairs even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his concerns during summit talks with President Barack Obama over emerging challenges in West Asia.

Vikram Doraiswami, Joint Secretary (Americas) in the MEA, during a media briefing on yesterday's summit talks said India was not going to join "any coalition" against terrorism but the two sides had agreed on the need to deal with "travellers of terrorism" - radicalised people who travel for participating in terror activities in West Asia.

"This is a very major issue for us," he said while referring to reports of movement of radicalised youth from India to that region.

Likewise, it was clarified that a trilateral partnership agreed on Afghanistan, would be developmental in nature and not military cooperation.

Doraiswami also said that the "joint and concerted efforts" on dismantling safe havens for terrorist groups and criminal networks as resolved by India and the US in the Joint Statement did not mean that the two countries were going to launch operations but will carry out any UN-mandated task.

India does not have an exact figure on the number of radicalised youth from the country in Iraq.

In what could be a warning bell for the security agencies in India, reports have emerged that the dreaded Islamic State group has been recruiting youths from states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir to fight in Iraq, Syria and other places in the Middle East. It has also been said that the ISIS is particularly targeting Muslim youths.

Modi during his joint media appearance with Obama said the two countries agreed to intensify cooperation in counter terrorism and intelligence sharing.

Obama said India was emerging as a major power for peace and security in the region.

Modi in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York last Saturday had said that "extremism and fault lines" were growing in West Asia.

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