Terrorism, radicalisation pose serious security challenges to society: Sitharaman

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She also shared India's concerns about the nuclear and missile tests conducted by North Korea.

"India has deplored these tests".

She also said that maritime security has been a key concern and countries should resolve maritime disputes peacefully, in accordance with worldwide law.

Manila: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that those who supported North Korea's nuclear and missile programme should be held accountable.

In what could be seen as an indirect reference to China and the dispute in the South China Sea, Sitharaman said that maritime disputes should be resolved "peacefully and in accordance with global law".

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Speaking at the meeting, being held in the Philippines which has been involved in a territorial conflict with China in the South China Sea, Sitharaman said that India supported freedom of navigation and rule based order. Since Donald Trump took over the Presidency, the USA dispatched two warships close to the artificial islands built by China to assert freedom of navigation. "Nations should resolve maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with worldwide law".

"We want to stop any spread of terrorism in the region".

The Philippines had approached the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) concerning certain issues in the South China Sea including the legality of China's "nine-dotted line" claim. While Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore regard China as the premier regional security threat, others like Malaysia, Brunei and Philippines believe their interests lie in accommodating China. "Terrorism and radicalisation pose one of the most immediate and serious security challenges to our societies". "New developments in social media and cyberspace have expanded the threat, as these are exploited by terrorists to develop less visible but lethal ways and means of manipulating minds of the people", she was quoted as saying in an official statement.

The defence minister added that India fully recognize the role of joint mechanisms with its partners and the role of worldwide and regional forums in fighting the menace of terrorism.

The ministers are due to meet with their counterparts from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Russia and New Zealand on October 24.

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