Sushma Swaraj talks tough, says double standards in dealing with terrorism dangerous

Swaraj said a host of issues including situation in the Middle East were discussed at the RIC meet.

Sushma Swaraj talks tough, says double standards in dealing with terrorism dangerous
Pic courtesy: @MEAIndia

Moscow: India on Monday warned the international community of "serious consequences" if it continues to adopt "double standards" in dealing with terrorism and strongly pitched for crafting of an effective global strategy to deal with the menace.

In her address at the Foreign Ministers meeting of RIC (Russia-India-China), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said there must be an effective global action against terror networks and terrorism remains the foremost threat to peace and security.

"India believes that the foremost challenge to international security continues to be posed by international terrorism. The RIC countries must lead the way in getting the international community together to counter terrorism through joint action, including at the UN," Swaraj said.

"We must not fail in this regard. If we continue to adopt double standards in dealing with terrorism it will have serious consequences not just for our own countries, but the international community as a whole," she said.

Significantly, Swaraj's remarks came after she raised with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, before the tilateral, the issue of China blocking India's bid at the UN to have JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar designated as terrorist.

Later, addressing a press conference along with Wang and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Swaraj said there was a need to craft an effective global strategy to counter terrorism, including at the UN.

"India, Russia and China have been victims of terrorism. It is natural for us that we unite to lead the world in our fight against terrorism. To do this, it is important that we give up the distinction between 'good' and 'bad' terrorists. We will also need to give up the tendency to differentiate between 'my terrorists' and 'your terrorists'," Swaraj said.

In her address at the RIC, Swaraj talked about the UN Security Council reform and said a greater urgency was required on the issue. She also sought support of Russia and China in this regard.

"Let me also touch upon the issue of reform of UN Security Council, on which there has been some positive movement with a text being put for the first time on the table for inter-governmental negotiations. However, we need greater urgency on this issue. I seek the support of my Chinese and Russian colleagues for taking the IGN process forward," she said.

The External Affairs Minister said the slowdown of the global economy has created its own set of issues for economies of all the three countries and they must join hands in spurring growth.

"As three large, emerging economies, we share similar approaches and could benefit from coordinating our positions," Swaraj said.

On BRICS, Swaraj said it is an important framework to boost economic growth.

"We look forward to active participation of all members in the meetings of BRICS during our presidency this year. We hope to have a very successful BRICS Summit in Goa in October," Swaraj said.

She said India was looking forward to welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS Summit.

"Let me end by re-emphasising the importance of RIC for consultations on regional and global issues of common concern," Swaraj said.

"These meetings provide a good opportunity to our three influential countries to exchange views on how we could jointly contribute to international peace, security and development," she said.

Swaraj said a host of issues including situation in the Middle East were discussed at the RIC meet.

"We all stressed our commitment to support democratic, pluralistic and peaceful forces in order to restore stability in the region. We also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and agreed that it was important for the international community to remain engaged and support the Afghanistan government in its development and reconciliation efforts and in defeating terrorist forces," Swaraj said.

The next RIC foreign ministers' meeting will be held in India.

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