India, Russia, China to jointly combat terror


Bangalore : Pushing for a multi-polar world order, India, China and Russia Tuesday decided to expand their cooperation on global issues ranging from combating international terrorism and restoring stability in the volatile AfPak region to climate change and reform of international bodies.

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Buoyed by the performance of the economies of the three countries that have done well despite global recession, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held talks with his counterparts, Yang Jiechi of China and Sergei Lavrov of Russia, in the IT city here.

A joint declaration said the three ministers discussed “new avenues for deepening and strengthening” their trilateral interaction in diverse areas like international terrorism, the global financial crisis, climate change and the reform of international bodies.

The three large emerging economies, that together comprise 20 percent of the total global landmass and represent 39 percent of the global population, also focussed on expanded trilateral cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, agriculture and identified pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, IT and energy as key areas of cooperation.

“Enhanced engagement among them strengthens their influence on the process of democratisation of international relations and development of multipolar world order reflecting the diversity of world cultures and civilizations,” the declaration said at the end of the day-long ninth trilateral meeting.

“We discussed trilateral action against terrorism and transnational crime,” Krishna said at a joint press conference with his counterparts from Russia and China. Krishna said the three foreign ministers identified “common approaches” in addressing a host of regional and international issues.

Yang described the meeting as a “very productive one” and underlined that it marked a “new progress” in trilateral cooperation. He emphasised that the three countries shared “similar approaches” on regional and international issues.

With all three countries facing some form of terrorism or the other and sharing their common concern about a sharp spike in Taliban-led violence in Afghanistan, they urged UN member states to urgently conclude and adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that is now bogged down in differences over the definition of terrorism.

The situation in the volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan region figured prominently in the discussions.

The three ministers underlined the necessity of the international community to maintain its commitment to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and restoring peace and stability to build “a democratic, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan”.

Significantly, China and Russia joined India in condemning the terrorist attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul this month, which Afghanistan suspects was directed from across the border — a veiled reference to Pakistan.

Although the joint declaration did not mention the Mumbai carnage explicitly, the reference was clear. “The ministers highlighted the need to bring the perpetrators of all terrorist attacks to justice and the need for strict observance of the sanctions regime against persons and entities listed by the UNSC Committee 1267,” the declaration said.

The reform of international bodies, including the UN, and specially those dealing with global economic governance like the IMF and the World Bank, also figured in the discussions. In a boost to India, Russia and China backed India’s aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations even as the three countries called in one voice for a comprehensive reform of the UN.

Pitching for equitable distribution of voting power between developed countries and developing ones in international economic bodies, the three foreign ministers called for “speedy shift” in quota share in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of at least 5 percent to emerging markets and developing countries and a significant increase of at least 3 percent of voting power in the World Bank for developing and transition countries.