Russia and China on Monday agreed to India‘s position on countering terrorism — including blocking terror funding, arms supply and flow of foreign terrorist fighters — and condemned state-sponsored terror without naming Pakistan.
Foreign Ministers of the three countries at the 15th edition of their trilateral meet in Delhi also underlined the primary and leading role and responsibility of countries in preventing and countering terrorism and extremism, and suggested that all states should take adequate measures to prevent terrorist activities from their territory.
In a joint statement foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and her Russian and Chinese counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi emphasised the need for a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism.
They resolved to step up cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism and radicalisation, combat the spread of terrorist ideology and propaganda, stop sources of terrorist financing, prevent travelling of and the supply of arms to terrorists, dismantle terrorist infrastructure, disrupt recruitment and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, and prevent misuse of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for terrorist purposes.
The Russia-India-China (RIC) joint communique also stressed that “those committing, organising, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with the obligations under international law, including the principle of ‘extradite or prosecute’ as well as the applicable domestic legislations”.
With China as party to this communique, Pakistan should be under pressure to act against terrorists indicted by international organisations including UN, a long-standing demand by Delhi.
In this context, the joint communique referred to blocking of UN listing of terrorists without naming Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, and called for effective implementation of international commitments on countering terrorism.
“We agree to strengthen cooperation to take decisive and concerted actions against globally proscribed terrorists and terror entities,” it said. “We condemn all forms of terrorism and all terrorists, terror entities and organisations listed by the UN Security Council.”
The three countries also sought to intensify cooperation in multilateral fora including Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organisation targeting money laundering and terror financing, and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs) so as to cut the flows of funds, and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities involved in terrorism including those proscribed under the relevant United Nations sanctions.
The anti-terror formulation in RIC communique is considered a diplomatic victory for India because China is considered an ally of Pakistan. Experts compared it to the last BRICS summit joint statement which named and shamed Pak-based terror groups along with other global terror outfits.
ET had first reported that India is hoping to have anti-terror formulation in the RIC communique. Russia supported India’s endeavours in the run-up to the foreign ministers’ meet as India supported Russian counter-terror role in Syria and favourable formulations on situation in Ukraine, Libya and Yemen.
The RIC communique also sought an inclusive Asia-Pacific region amid China’s exclusivist agenda, emphasising “freedom of navigation and overflight rights based on the principles of international law, particularly UNCLOS”.
This is also considered an achievement for India as China has been aggressive in its approach in the South China Sea region and Indo-Pacific region.
The joint statement also commended “Russia-led counterterrorism efforts and achievements in Syria aimed at defeating international terrorism”.
“We reaffirm that all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable irrespective of their motivations, committed wherever and by whomsoever,” it said. “We call for greater unity, stronger international partnership and concerted actions by the international community in addressing the menace of terrorism in accordance with international law and the UN Charter, including the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs.”
In her remarks to press after the RIC meet, Swaraj mentioned about role played by Pakistan-based LeT among other terror groups in endangering global peace.