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China, India, Russia to push regional unity

China, India, Russia to push regional unity
AFP
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First Published: Thu, Feb 15 2007. 01 12 AM IST
Updated: Thu, Feb 15 2007. 01 12 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The foreign ministers of India, Russia and China on Wednesday pledged to avoid confrontation and work together to solve disputes on issues ranging from energy to insurgencies after talks here.
The three foreign ministers exchanged “views on how international relations are being presently conducted,” according to a joint statement. “They agreed that cooperation rather than confrontation should govern approaches to regional and global affairs,” it said.
The three ministers also called for strengthening the United Nations (UN) to promote the “democratization of international relations” to build a multi-polar world, the statement said.
The pledge came a day after diplomats from six countries, including Russia and China, managed to persuade North Korea to shut down key nuclear facilities within two months in return for badly needed fuel.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said he welcomed the “success” achieved with North Korea during talks in Beijing, and added that he and his counterparts, India’s Pranab Mukherjee and China’s Li Zhaoxing, had also exchanged views on crises in Iraq and Iran.
All three countries agreed that international terrorism, which continued to pose a grave threat, should be combated “under central and coordinating role of the UN,” the statement said.
“The statement is drawing attention to the importance of keeping UN at the centre of conflict resolution,” said C. Uday Bhaskar, an analyst with the New Delhi-based Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses. Bhaskar noted several instances of how the UN had been bypassed—during the Iraq war and even in the process of resolving the North Korean crisis.
The joint statement said the grouping of the three countries was not aimed against “the interests of any other country” and “intended to promote international harmony” and “find common ground amidst divergent interests.”
Though India, China and Russia were urging the restoration of credibility to UN, the success of their plans will, however, depend on getting the United States on board, Bhaskar said. AFP
The tri-lateral talks in New Delhi—which is working on improving ties with Washington and is negotiating a crucial civilian nuclear energy deal with the US—is the sixth such meeting.
The joint statement said the grouping was not aimed against “the interests of any other country” and “intended to promote international harmony” and “find common ground amidst divergent interests.”
The idea of trilateral relationship between India, China and Russia was first proposed by former Russian prime minister Yevgeny Primakov during a visit to New Delhi in 1998.
India, which fought a brief but bitter border conflict with China in 1962, is slowly normalising relations with its giant neighbour.
New Delhi is also uncomfortable with the close ties that Bejing has with India’s arch-rival Pakistan.
However India’s envoy to China, Nirupama Rao, on Tuesday told reporters that talks between the Asian giants had matured to the level of interaction between “two equal partners.”
New Delhi and Moscow, on the other hand, shared close ties during the Cold War years when about 70% of India’s military hardware was bought from the former Soviet Union.
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First Published: Thu, Feb 15 2007. 01 12 AM IST