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NEW DELHI: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called for expeditious punishment to terrorists involved in the Mumbai terror attacks. A modern and civilised state cannot hide terrorists and should extradite them if it is interested in cooperating in the fight against terrorism, he said in response to a question at the joint press conference with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Dr. Singh said India and Russia were both victims of terrorism. “As such there is a natural synergy of interest in working together to deal with this menace , we should cooperate in intelligence-sharing and definite anti-terrorist strategies,'' he added.
“Terrorists are criminals. They should be extradited to be punished. Those who hide terrorists conceal criminals,'' Mr. Medvedev observed when asked how Russia viewed the safe havens of terrorists in the region and whether it can expand cooperation with India in dealing with this issue.
At the same time he pointed to the need for bilateral framework agreements for extradition. “We understand that the extradition process is quite complicated but it is important that international cooperation in this field should be in place between all those interested in the fight against terrorism. Once they are in place they should be applied between countries, including countries in this region. ''
The Russian President said his country's anti-terrorism cooperation with India was “productive and quite open.''
No justification to terrorism
The joint statement noted that both countries “agreed that there is no justification whatsoever for any act of terrorism, and that multi-ethnic democratic countries like India and Russia were vulnerable to acts of terrorism which are attacks against the values and freedoms enshrined in their societies.
It also “called upon Pakistan to expeditiously bring all the perpetrators, authors and accomplices of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice.''
India expressed sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro stations in March this year and expressed support for Russia's efforts to eliminate terrorism from Russian soil.
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