External Affairs

Challenges to International Security Should Be Resolved Through Diplomacy: BRICS

The virtual meet of the foreign ministers of BRICS countries occurred in the shadow of the ongoing border tensions between India and China which began in May.

New Delhi: The foreign ministers of BRICS countries emphasised on Friday that any challenges to international peace and security and violent conflict in various parts of the world should be resolved through political and diplomatic engagement.

The meeting of the five emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), was held through video conference. With Russia as the BRICS chair, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov led the participants, which included Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi.

The ministers raised concerns at the rise of violence and continuing conflicts in different parts of the world that have significant impact at both the regional and international levels. “They concurred that, irrespective of their historic background and distinctive nature, conflicts should be resolved by peaceful means and diplomatic engagement through political dialogue and negotiations in line with principles and norms of international law, particularly the UN Charter,” said a joint statement issued at the end of the virtual meeting.

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The ministers also pointed to the UN Security Council’s resolution 2532 (2020) calling for a universal ceasefire of hostilities in all situations, with the exception of military operations against terrorist groups, and called for a “durable humanitarian pause against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

The BRICS meeting took place in the shadow of the ongoing border tensions between India and China which began in May.

Russia is already hosting the first physical political-level meeting between India and China since the stand-off began, with defence minister Rajnath Singh meeting his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) forum on Friday night. Jaishankar is scheduled to visit Russia to attend a meeting of a council of ministers of the SCO on September 10, where he will be face-to-face with Wang Yi for the first time.

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Meanwhile, the joint media statement also indicated that the meeting of the BRICS counter-terrorism working group that met earlier this week had also finalised the group’s counter-terrorism strategy.

A separate press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated that Jaishankar had expressed satisfaction at the conclusion of the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy, and also highlighted the “scourge of terrorism”.

At the press conference, Lavrov said a BRICS leaders’ summit will be held in November if the pandemic situation eases by that time.