A glimpse of India at the 16th Foreign Ministers of Russia-India-China (RIC) meet

EAM Sushma Swaraj with her Russian and Chinese counterparts/Image:MEA India

Amidst all the chaos between India and Pakistan, Minister of External Affairs made a strong commitment towards eradicating terrorism. Sushma Swaraj had attended the 16th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia-India-China (RIC) in Wuzhen, China on the 27th February, 2019, just a day after the Indian Air Force conducted a pre-dawn airstrike in Balakot, Pakistan. The meet was a follow up of the RIC meet held in New Delhi last year and also the G20 Summit in Buenos Aries. The 16th Foreign Ministers Meet were also attended by Swaraj’s counterpart Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China and Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia.

The EAM started her opening statement by addressing the issue at hand and urged the delegations of China and Russia that a strong stand on terrorism has to be in effect immediately. Swaraj said “Russia, India and China are countries that carry important voices in international politics and have the potential to significantly influence world events”. The statement clearly implied of India’s true intentions of strengthening this trilateral relation both regionally and globally. In the wake of the uproar post IAF air strike in Balakot, a lot of misapprehensions occurred due to Pakistan taking this strike as war against the country. But Swaraj clarified the true intentions of the Indian Air Force at Wuhzen saying that since Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack, the Government of India had to take this ‘pre-emptive’ action. Swaraj ended her statement by reassuring the global fraternity that India does not wish to engage in a war and will act with full responsibility as well as restraint.

The countries gave strong commitments to the establishment of United Nations led Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism (CCT) in a fight against global terrorism. Swaraj also introduced a notion of changing the membership of permanent and non-permanent states in the United Nations Security Council. In the recent times, India has progressively emerged as a significant player in global politics, thus it rightly stands as a strong contender for UNSC’s permanent membership. Though combating terrorism seemed to have topped the list out of the multitude of agendas brought up, India and its delegation did not fail to deliberate on other issues. Keeping in mind the regional stability, the ministers highlighted the drug trafficking operating in Afghanistan and the urgency to follow all international legal conventions to tackle it as soon as possible. Information and Communication Technology were also discussed whereby the delegations accepted the United Nations role in countering the use of communication technologies for criminal purposes. Another interesting issue discussed at the RIC Meet was of outer space warfare and the placement of weapons in outer space. The countries reaffirmed prevention of any arms race in outer space and stressed on ‘practical’ transparency to maintain international peace and security. Trade was also touched upon with special acknowledgement to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The meeting concluded on a very successful note and Russia has been decided as the next destination for the RIC meet.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Arijita Sinha Roy

Arijita Sinha Roy is an Honourary Research Analyst at The Kootneeti. Being a Political Science Scholar her areas of interest covers different aspects of Diplomacy. She also contributed to many leading publications including Eurasia Review, Modern Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, South Africa Today, Defense Romania. She can be reached at arijitasinharoy@gmail.com || Twitter: @arijitasinharoy

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