Finding A Common Ground
The 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China, popularly known as the RIC Cooperation Organisation, was held online on November 26, and concluded with a lengthy communiqué that included a handful of substantive points of agreement among the three Powerhouses. Given the serious tensions between India and China over recent years that the British have manipulated and exacerbated to keep India out of the Belt and Road Initiative, outcome of the RIC Summit was a significant strategic advance.
Firstly, the three countries agreed on the need for an “international response to global health challenges, including COVID-19 Pandemic, with equitable and affordable access to medicines, vaccines and critical health supplies. They reiterated the need for continued cooperation in this fight inter alia through sharing of vaccine doses, transfer of technology, development of local production capacities, and promotion of supply chains for medical products”.
Secondly, Moscow, New Delhi and Beijing stated their commitment to “step up efforts in jointly countering terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and trans-border organised crime”, and also emphasised their “determination to counter the spread of illicit drug trafficking in opiates and methamphetamine from Afghanistan and beyond, which poses a serious threat to regional security and stability, and provides funding for terrorist organisation”.
Thirdly, the RIC joint communiqué “called for immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to be provided to Afghanistan”, while emphasising their support for the “formation of a truly inclusive Government in Kabul that represents all the major ethnic and political groups of the country”. The three powers also “stressed the necessity of urgent elimination of UNSC proscribed terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda, ISIS and others for lasting peace in Afghanistan and the region”, and that “the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any other country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country”.
In his opening remarks to the meeting as RIC Chairman, Indian External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reaffirmed “India’s commitment to foster closer dialogue and cooperation among the three largest nations in the Eurasian region”. He stated that the Pandemic proved that “the need of the hours is, therefore ‘One Earth One Health’”. The Indian minister further emphasised that “the RIC countries need to work together to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the Afghan people”.
Boundless Ocean of Politics has received this article from Christopher Lewis of Schiller Institute, Frankfurt, Germany.
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