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BRICS meet: India, China agree on countering terror; managing conflict through dialogue

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NEW DELHI: India and China, notwithstanding current tensions along LAC, as part of five member BRICS did not shy away from Foreign Minister level Joint Statement issued on Friday with a strong focus on countering international terror and managing conflicts through dialogue. Delhi and Beijing utilised this as CBM ahead of possible bilateral meet in Moscow next week.

The five Foreign Ministers without any reference to LAC or any other standoff underlined the imperative of dialogue to address increasing international peace and security challenges through political and diplomatic means. The Ministers expressed concerns at the rise of violence and continuing conflicts in different parts of the world that have significant impact at both the regional and international levels, according to a joint statement issued at end of meet. “They concurred that, irrespective of their historic background and distinctive nature, conflicts should be resolved by peaceful means and diplomatic engagement through political dialogue and negotiations in line with principles and norms of international law particularly the UN Charter.”

The BRICS meet would act as CBM as Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are expected to meet in Moscow between September 9-10 eyeing to reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control with Delhi emphasising on dialogue.

Jaishankar in his intervention also highlighted the scourge of terrorism and called for enhanced BRICS cooperation in countering terrorism. He expressed satisfaction on the conclusion of BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy. This strategy that contains India’s concerns on cross-border terror will be adopted at the Summit in October that will be held virtually. It is understood that there was consensus among five states on countering terror.

“The Ministers further stressed the need for comprehensive and balanced approach of the whole international community to effectively curb the terrorist activities, which pose a serious threat, including in the present-day pandemic environment. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 5th BRICS Counter-Terrorism Group (CTWG) and its subgroups’ inaugural meetings on 31 August – 2 September 2020 which further advanced BRICS cooperation in the areas of countering terrorism and its financing, foreign terrorist fighters, radicalization, the use of the Internet for terrorism purposes and capacity building. They expressed satisfaction at the approval of the BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the CTWG,” according to the joint statement issued after the meet.

The Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed, and that it should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, according to the Joint Statement. They reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute further to the global efforts of preventing and countering the threat of terrorism on the basis of respect for international law and the UN Charter, emphasizing that States have the primary responsibility in combating terrorism.

The Ministers underscored the need for all relevant international organizations and financial institutions to collaborate vigorously in order to ensure that the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the enjoyment of social and economic rights and the right to development are addressed in a timely, comprehensive and integrated manner, according to the joint statement.

The meeting of Foreign Ministers, which is traditionally held in capital of the BRICS Chair, was convened via video conference due to ongoing pandemic. The discussions centred around overview of global situation – new threats and challenges, regional hot spots. The Ministers discussed possible BRICS cooperation on international fora including on key issues on the 75 UNGA agenda. India strongly backed Russian Presidency for SCO-BRICS-RIC in 2020.

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