India, Morocco sign pacts to combat global terror including ISIS


India, Morocco sign pacts to combat global terror including ISISNEW DELHI: India and Morocco, Africa's second biggest economy, have concluded extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties and also affirmed that they will jointly fight threats from ISIS under their counter-terror partnership.

The agreements were inked this week during Moroccan Justice Minister Mohamed Auajjar’s visit to Delhi.

“Morocco has a well-established school of counter-terrorism, which is globally recognised. We have counter-terror cooperation including bilateral legal arrangements with major countries to fight terror. Given the expansion in ties with India and mutual interest, we decided to sign these treaties with Delhi, taking our counter-terror partnership to the next level,” Auajjar told ET here. “These instruments will enable the two states to share best practices to combat terrorism globally.”

The Indo-Moroccan Extradition Agreement will provide a strong legal base for the extradition of persons accused of economic offences, terrorism and other serious crimes in one contracting state and found in another contracting state.

The Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters will enhance cooperation in the service of summons, judicial documents, letters of request, and the execution of judgments, decrees and arbitral awards.

“India believes in the necessity of enhancing the domain of mutual cooperation with Morocco and realising the importance of broadening the aspects of cooperation between both the countries in civil and commercial matters,” the Indian government said in a statement.

“Islam is against terrorism and this is a message that Morocco led by its King is trying to propagate. There is a wrong interpretation of jihad that is being propagated, instead of a jihad against poverty. Islam forbids killing of human beings. In Morocco, we have been practicing right values of Islam, which encompass compassion and kindness,” the minister said, adding, “Morocco’s deradicalisation initiatives have been lauded by the international community. We pursue a multidimensional counter-terror strategy that has three distinct stands – intelligence gathering; socio-economic reforms; and reform of religious schools.”

India’s ties with African countries date back to the pre-independence period. With Morocco, India has enjoyed cordial and friendly relations, and over the years bilateral relations have witnessed significant growth. Both nations are part of the Non-Aligned Movement. In the United Nations, India supported the decolonisation of Morocco and the Moroccan freedom movement. India recognised Morocco on June 20, 1956 and established relations in 1957.

Morocco has emerged as a key pillar in India's Africa strategy and Delhi had played a key role in Morocco's re-entry into the African Union in 2017. In Asia, India is the recipient of Morocco’s biggest investment.

Morocco has sought assistance from India in the field of IT. “As part of this initiative, we are seeking India’s assistance in digitising courts in Morocco,” the Minister said.