Based on a report by Amit Baruah

(the Hindu, February 16, 2007)   


External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met with his Chinese and Russian counterparts, Li Zhaoxing and  Sergei Lavrov (right) at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on February 14, 2007 and announced that  cooperation, rather than confrontation, should govern the approaches to regional and global affairs.


 “The Ministers agreed that India, Russia and China, as countries with growing international influence, can  make positive contribution to global peace, security and stability. In this context, they exchanged views on  various regional and international issues of concern,” said a joint communiqué issued after the sixth trilateral  meeting.  Though the joint statement did not make any reference to specific issues, Mr. Lavrov told  presspersons at Hyderabad House that West Asia, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq came up for discussion.  (A source familiar with Wednesday’s meeting said the three countries discussed the possibility of meetings to  discuss issues like Iran. This is an advance over the previous trilateral talks).   The Foreign Ministers noted that globalization had opened up opportunities for even distribution of  development resources and influence in the world, creating a foundation for a more stable and  balanced international system. They expressed their conviction that democratization of international  relations is the key to building an increasingly multi-polar world order that would be based on the principle  of equality of nations – big or small, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries,  international law and mutual respect.   Insisting that the United Nations was “an appropriate instrument” for promoting a multi-polar world order,  the Foreign Ministers agreed that the member-states should aim to make the world body more transparent,  efficient and reflective of contemporary realities. “The sides agreed to take steps in this direction.”  “In this context, the Foreign Ministers of Russia and China indicated that their countries attached great  importance to the status of India in international affairs, and understand and support India’s aspirations to  play a greater role in the United Nations,” the communiqué said.

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