NATIONAL

'No double standards in fighting terrorism'

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, exchanging documents after signing the `Joint declaration on strengthening and enhancing economic and scientific cooperation', in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Photo: S. Arneja

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, exchanging documents after signing the `Joint declaration on strengthening and enhancing economic and scientific cooperation', in New Delhi on Wednesday. — Photo: S. Arneja  

New Delhi Dec. 4. The following are excerpts from the text of Delhi Declaration on Further Consolidation of Strategic Partnership between India and Russia issued here today after talks between the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee:

Our strategic partnership provides a solid framework for long-term and all-round development of relations. Mutual security, development and prosperity of our peoples are core objectives of the partnership. It also contributes to countering global challenges and threats and promoting strategic stability at the international level.

The established practice of holding annual meetings at summit level as well as at Ministerial and working levels, and exchanges between Parliamentary, judicial and other constitutional bodies would be further intensified. There would be particular emphasis on deepening the economic content of bilateral relations. We reiterate our support for each other's territorial integrity and respect for each other's sovereignty, enshrined in our respective Constitutions. Neither side shall take any actions which might threaten or impair the security of the other. Both sides shall be guided by this principle in determining their security and defence policies as well as in military technical cooperation with third countries.

Respect for diversity

Bilateral cooperation as well as cooperation with other countries would be further enhanced to meet the various challenges of globalisation, in particular the mitigation of its negative manifestations. Globalisation and national identity represent complementary components of world order. Recognition of and respect for diversity is a necessary precondition for human progress, and an essential component of the dialogue between civilisations.

Enduring ties of friendship, trust and confidence and commonality of interests confer on India and Russia a unique capability to contribute to the evolution of a new world order, which would be stable, secure, equitable and sustainable and will be based on the respect for the principles of the U.N. Charter and international law. To fulfil this vision, both sides would endeavour to strengthen relevant international institutions and mechanisms.

U.N. membership

Both countries favour strengthening of U.N.'s central role in promoting international security in a multi-polar world. They stand for enhancing the efficiency of the U.N. and its Security Council and making them more reflective of the contemporary geo-political and economic realities and rendering them more representative of the interests of the vast majority of the U.N. members by completing the process of rationally reforming the organisation based on the broadest consensus of its member-states. In this context, Russia reaffirms its support to India as a strong and appropriate candidate for permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council.

We take note of the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development of Johannesburg and in this context, welcome the reaffirmation of the Rio principles. Taking note of the importance attached to the issue of climate change by both the countries, we welcome the results of the Eighth Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change hosted by India in October-November 2002 and the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation to convene in Moscow in Autumn 2003 the World Conference on Climate Change.

Non-proliferation

Both the countries reiterate their commitment to work towards a new cooperative security order that recognises the legitimate security interests of all countries and promote global peace and stability at lower levels of armaments, and strengthens non-proliferation and disarmament goals. India and Russia are convinced that the promotion of the disarmament process, including reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons, is one of the most important components of security both in Asia and in the world at large.

We call for early start of multilateral talks aimed at preparing a comprehensive arrangement on non-deployment of weapons in outer space, non-use of threat of use of force in respect of space-based objects and preserving the use of space for full range of cooperative, peaceful and developmental activities.

The situation in our common neighbourhood — Afghanistan and Central Asia — is of vital security interest to both the countries We feel that there is a need to continuously assess the evolving Afghan situation and intend to continue and expand the close cooperation on Afghanistan.

West Asian conflict

We call for containment of the spiral of violence in the Middle East and resumption, in good faith, of the negotiations towards establishment of a just and durable peace on the basis of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002).

Both the countries support the continuation of political and diplomatic efforts to fully implement all the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Iraq.

India and Russia have been victims of terrorism and, as democratic and open societies, have been vulnerable to the threats posed by globalisation of terror, including new manifestations of linkage between terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Terrorism constitutes a gross violation of human rights, particularly the most fundamental right — the right to life — and is a crime against humanity. India and Russia firmly condemn all acts of terrorism wherever they may occur and whatever may be their motivation.

Terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds and must be condemned unambiguously wherever it exists. Both the countries strongly condemn those who support terrorism or finance, train, harbour or support terrorists. States that aid abet or shelter terrorists are as guilty of the acts of terrorism as their perpetrators.

We are fully determined to strengthen our cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, and the support these phenomena receive from organised crime and illicit arms and drugs trafficking. Both the countries regard these as global threats, which can be effectively countered only through collective, comprehensive, determined and sustained efforts of the international community. The fight against terrorism must not admit of any double standards and should also target the financial and other sources of support to terrorism. Both the countries reaffirm the relevance of the Moscow Declaration by the Republic of India and the Russian Federation on International Terrorism of 6 November 2001.

In this regard, they also stress the paramount importance of strict implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions on the fight against terrorism, in particular Resolution 1373, and universal antiterrorist conventions which create the basic framework for national, regional and international obligations and cooperation of the international community in combating terrorism, in accordance with the U.N. Charter. India and Russia remain fully committed to implement this Resolution and call for an early agreement on, and entry into force of, the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

As victims of terrorism having its roots in our common neighbourhood, we have a particular interest in putting an end to this common threat through preventive and deterrent measures nationally and bilaterally.

The two countries agree to enhance bilateral cooperation in order to combat terrorism, including in the context of the cooperation under the aegis of the Joint Working Group on Afghanistan and the Group on terrorism set up by the National Security Council of India and the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

The agreement to set up an Indio-Russian Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism will further strengthen our cooperation in this sphere.

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