BRICS back India’s campaign against global terrorism, says VK Singh


India on Monday called upon the five nation Brazil-Russia-India-South Africa (BRICS) to step up the fight against global terrorism amid a consensus within the grouping to back economic globalisation, and speak with one voice to counter climate change.

“On behalf of India, I pointed out that terrorism remains the most potent global menace and threatens global peace,” said visiting Minister of State for External Affairs, VK Singh following the first

meeting of BRICS foreign ministers.

“And terrorists cannot be differentiated by calling them good or bad,” he added in a brief interaction with the media.

Gen. Singh highlighted that all the BRICS nations supported India’s call for an early adoption of a comprehensive UN convention against international terrorism.

A Joint Statement released at the end of the conference condemned “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations wherever committed and by whomsoever”. It also called for establishing a “genuinely broad international counter-terrorism coalition,” and underscored “the responsibility of all States to prevent financing of terrorist networks and terrorist actions from their territories”.

The statement backed the Paris Agreement on climate change – a reaffirmation that assumes importance after the withdrawal of the United States from the pact.

In view of the rise of economic nationalism in the US and parts of Europe, the ministers reiterated their support for more balanced economic globalisation, rejection of protectionism, and renewal of their commitment to the promotion of global trade and investment which is conducive to an equitable, inclusive innovative, invigorated and interconnected world economy.

In their focus on regional and global security, the BRICS foreign ministers backed “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” national reconciliation programme in Afghanistan, as well as a “Syrian-led, Syrian-owned” political process which safeguarded the state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria. Besides, they welcomed the 2nd BRICS Consultation on UN Peacekeeping Affairs to be held in Beijing in July.

The BRICS foreign ministers backed the proposed dialogue between the emerging markets and developing countries at the September summit of the BRICS in Xiamen as part of the grouping’s “outreach activities”.

Observers say that the formulation avoids establishment of a permanent dialogue mechanism between the BRICS and countries outside the grouping, as part of a possible BRICS-plus formula.

Earlier Gen. Singh affirmed that during his meeting on Sunday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, he had highlighted that New Delhi looked forward “to strengthening and deepening its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue” with China. Analysts say that Gen. Singh’s remarks were yet another marker underscoring the thaw in China-Indian ties, following recent months of friction.

The visiting minister attributed the intent of the two countries to step up ties to the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Astana summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) earlier this month. He said the two leaders “had a fruitful and constructive dialogue” in Kazakhstan’s capital. They “laid down directions for us and for both the countries to mutual respect and mutual cooperation, (on) how to improve already existing mechanism, more trade, more commerce, (and) more people to people contact”.

Xinhua news agency is reporting that during his meeting with Gen. Singh on Sunday, Mr. Wang said China and India were both major countries with great influence and that they should boost cooperation

in the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and all other multilateral frameworks to make contribution to peace and stability in the region and the world at large.