The Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and China (RIC) on Tuesday pushed their trilateral dialogue towards a strategic dimension by coordinating their approaches on several pressing international issues including terrorism and climate change.

Sergei Lavrov (Russia) and Yang Jiechi (China) came out strongly in support of India in its fight against terrorism and called for the implementation and “strict observance” of all United Nations resolutions on the issue.

A joint communiqué issued at the end of their ninth meeting under the RIC format here also took common positions on the reform of multilateral financial institutions and North Korea.

The three countries thus continued the trend set at the previous interaction in Vladivostok, of coordinating their positions on Kosovo and the Asia-Pacific region.

Iran and Afghanistan have remained constant themes at these standalone meetings of Foreign Ministers.

Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Yang agreed with their Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna that “natural complementarity” in the energy sector could form a new basis for trilateral cooperation.

Significantly, Russia and China said they “understand and support” India’s aspirations to play a greater role in the U.N. and condemned the attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

Without mentioning Mumbai, they highlighted the need to bring to book perpetrators of all terrorist attacks. In turn, India and China backed Russia’s efforts to stabilise the Caucasus.

Moscow and Beijing were also appreciative of New Delhi’s renewed interest in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as reflected in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leading the Indian delegation to its recent summit.

On multilateral institutions, the three pressed for speedy implementation of the resolve expressed at the Pittsburg G-20 meeting to reform them while avoiding erosion in the voting shares of developing countries.

They wanted future G-20 summits to be staged in developing countries and reiterated their willingness to contribute to the Copenhagen conference on climate change.

While hoping that the second round of Presidential elections in Afghanistan would be conducted peacefully, they expressed concern at the deteriorating security situation due to continued terrorist attacks.

Nuclear issues

They reiterated their call to the international community to utilise the diplomatic route to resolve nuclear related issues with Iran and North Korea. The Foreign Ministers also reviewed trilateral initiatives in health, medicine, disaster mitigation and relief and agricultural cooperation.

It was also agreed that the next meeting would be held in China.

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