Beijing: India and China on Tuesday held their first anti-terrorism dialogue amid growing Indo-Pak tensions following the Uri terror attack and reached "important consensus" on strengthening cooperation in combating the menace and on measures to jointly deal with security threats.
Seen as a significant step forward in anti-terror cooperation following differences over India's bid to get Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a terrorist by the UN, top intelligence officials from both the countries held candid discussions about stepping up cooperation in counter-terrorism.
"The two sides exchanged views on the international and regional security situation," an Indian Embassy statement said of the talks.
"They exchanged information on respective policies, systems and legislation to deal with terrorism, and furtherenhance their understanding on issues of major concerns to both sides," the Embassy statement said.
"The two sides had in-depth discussions on enhancing cooperation in counter-terrorism and security and on measures to jointly deal with security threats and reached important consensus in this regard," it said.
Later, a report by the state-run Xinhua News Agency on the talks said, "the two sides exchanged opinions on the international and regional security situation and their respective anti-terrorism systems, mechanisms and legislation".
"They also reached some consensus on measures to strengthen cooperation and to jointly deal with security threats, according to a document issued after the meeting," the report said.
The talks were held at a high-level as the meeting was co-chaired by R N Ravi, Chairman of Joint Intelligence Committee from India, and Wang Yongqing, Secretary General of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of China.
The anti-terrorism talks were a follow up to the decision reached during last year's visit of Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Beijing.
Both sides had decided to form a Ministerial Committee and another Joint Secretary-level mechanism to periodically meet and review the cooperation on terrorism, cyber security, cross border crimes and drug trafficking.
Officials regard the talks on anti-terrorism significant as the dialogue was held in the backdrop of Beijing, a close ally of Pakistan, seeking to strike a balance between the two countries in the aftermath of the Uri attack.
China has distanced itself from remarks backing Islamabad on Kashmir by its Premier Li Keqiang in his meeting with his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York and later its envoy meeting with Chief Minister of Pakistan's Punjab province Shahbaz Sharif.