Wuzhen (China), Feb 27 (IANS) India, Russia and China on Wednesday “strongly condemned” terrorism in all its forms, stressing that extremist groups cannot be used in political and geopolitical goals and those committing or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice.
India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with her Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov, also called on the international community to strengthen global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
“The Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UNSC resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law,” said a joint communique of the 16th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People’s Republic of China.
They reiterated that states and their competent agencies play a central role in both national and international counter-terrorism efforts and that terrorist groups cannot be supported and used in political and geopolitical goals.
“The Ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments on countering terrorism, including the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” the statement said.
The 16th meeting of the RIC leaders in China’s Zhejiang held amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the February 14 Pulwama attack. After 12 days, Indian fighter jets pounded major terror training camps in the neighbouring country in what New Delhi called was a “non-military pre-emptive strike”.
Raising the issue of Pulawama terror attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) during her bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart, Sushma Swaraj said she was visiting China at a time when there is grief and anger in India.
“It is the worst terrorist attack directed against our security forces in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said in her opening remarks.
At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed in the suicide attack by JeM, which had released photos and a video after the attack claiming full responsibility.
Sushma Swaraj strongly put it across that the JeM is a “Pakistan-based and supported terrorist organisation”.
“Following the Pulwama terror attack, instead of taking seriously the calls by international community to act against JeM, Pakistan denied any knowledge of the attack and outright dismissed claims by JeM,” she said.
“Such dastardly terrorist attacks are a grim reminder of the need of all the countries to show zero tolerance towards terrorism and take decisive action against it,” she added.
Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with her Chinese counterpart is significant as Beijing has repeatedly blocked India’s bid at the UN to declare JeM chief Masood Azhar a UN-designated global terrorist.
While countries across the world, including US, Russia, UK and France — the UN Security Council’s permanent members — condemned Pakistan’s role in the Pulwama terror attack, China’s stand on Azhar has remained unchanged.
The Informal summit between the three nations also imparted fresh impetus into the trilateral cooperation and reiterated their commitment to work together to further their cooperation on important issues and take the trilateral cooperation to a new level, said the communique
Foreign Ministers of China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status of India in international affairs and supported its aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.