India, Malaysia ink 7 pacts

India along with Malaysia emphasised that all nations show utmost respect to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in resolving maritime disputes. The emphasis on UNCLOS in the joint statement issued after PM Narendra Modi's meeting with his counterpart Najib Abdul Razak is significant even though there was no specific mention of South China Sea where China is embroiled in territorial disputes with several countries including Malaysia. The last time the two leaders met in 2015, the joint statement did not even in passing refer to any aspect of maritime disputes afflicting the region.

The meeting between Modi and Najib also saw the two countries signing as many as seven agreements including one on air services to enhance connectivity. Modi and Najib, said the joint statement, reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UNCLOS, 1982.

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