Meeting in trilateral format here on Friday, Russia, India and China (RIC) have taken a common stand on a range of international issues, including North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, terrorism and regional security in Asia.

The Foreign Ministers of the three countries voiced “regret” over North Korea's rocket launch on Friday but opposed new sanctions on Pyongyang and called for restraint from neighbouring countries and the U.N. Security Council.

“We do not believe in new sanctions — they will not help in any way to resolve the situation,” Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a joint press conference with his Indian and Chinese counterparts after their trilateral meeting.

The U.N. Security Council should take a stand on the violation by North Korea of earlier sanctions, but its reaction must be calibrated and serve the main goal — a resumption of the six-party talks, Mr. Lavrov said.

“We are convinced it is necessary to respond to the challenges at hand exclusively through political and diplomatic means,” he stated.

The three Ministers voiced “serious concern” over the situation involving Iran's nuclear programme. They recognised Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy and called for “exclusively peaceful resolution of the problem on the basis of the available decisions of the IAEA and the Security Council.”

Russia, India and China backed Afghanistan's request to join as observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and described the group as the “optimal platform for regional cooperation on Afghanistan.”

Terrorism condemned

The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and stressed there could be no justification for any act of terrorism on any ground. It is understood that they agreed action must be taken against those who commit terrorist attacks and also those who abet and sponsor terrorism.

Mr. Lavrov said the Ministers attached priority to building up a security and cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific region based on the universally agreed principles of international law and giving due consideration to the legitimate interests of all states.

The meeting reaffirmed the relevance of trilateral dialogue and vowed to deepen three-sided cooperation.

“India, Russia and China believe they have a major role to play in addressing global challenges,” External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna said addressing the joint press conference.

Mr. Krishna called the discussions in Moscow “stimulating and enriching.”

“We have discussed ways of carrying forward new initiatives in areas where we share experience and can harness potential benefits.”

He said a joint communiqué being issued by the three Foreign Ministers “reflects our common understandings on a range of issues.”

Mr. Lavrov stressed the willingness of the three countries to work together.

“Our meeting has confirmed the commitment of Russia, India and China to develop and deepen dialogue, not only on issues of global and regional policies, but in areas of practical cooperation,” he said recalling several meetings of experts in handling emergencies, business contacts and scientific conferences.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that the three countries have “exceptionally broad prospects for cooperation” in various areas, including emergency response, health, agriculture, business and science.