India today asked the BRICS nations to back its efforts in adopting a comprehensive convention on terrorism at the UN to shed the ambiguity about “good” and “bad” terrorists, as the foreign ministers of the bloc forged consensus on evolving a common strategy to combat the menace. Pressing Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa at its first Foreign Ministers meeting ahead of this year’s summit in Chinese city Xiamen, Minister of State for External Affairs General (retd) V K Singh said that there was no good or bad terrorists as all of them should be treated as criminals threatening global peace.
“Everyone agrees that terrorism is common enemy of mankind. Everybody is fully concerned about threat of terrorism in various manifestations,” Singh said, addressing a joint press conference with Foreign Ministers from the BRICS countries in their first stand alone meeting to work out agenda for the Xiamen summit.
“We also ask for expediting the adoption of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism in the UN which has been pending for some time. We have the support of all members of BRICS nations,” he said. Responding to questions over concerns on cross border terrorism from Pakistan, Singh said “on behalf of India I pointed out that terrorism remains one of the most potent global menace”.
“We did bring out that it threatens global peace and terrorists cannot be differentiated by calling them good or bad,” without directly referring to China’s efforts to block efforts by India, US and other countries to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar for his involvement in Pathankot terror attack.
“They are terrorists and they are criminals and we need to have a concerted action both in the regional and internationally to curb their activities,” Singh said.
Earlier speaking at the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, Singh said BRICS countries have reached significant understanding on security and counter terrorism issues as the five-member bloc of emerging economies expanded steadily in the international arena. “Besides cooperating on financial issues, the BRICS agenda has witnessed steady expansion,” he said.
The BRICS joint working group mechanism has concluded in May 2017, Singh said, adding that the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of the BRICS countries are due to meet next month ahead of this year’s summit.
In Delhi meeting last year, they (NSAs) had reached significant understanding on matters of security and counter terrorism, Singh said. Backing Singh, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China opposed to terrorism in all forms and it is also a victim of terrorism.
“So China is actively taking part in international cooperation against terrorism and in our own way China is making its contribution and playing our constrictive role. On this point with all colleagues present today including Indian colleagues, China shares the same position,” he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said BRICS countries are united and their understanding of the fight against terrorism. He said there are working groups formed in BRICS to deal with counter terrorism issues.
“It has started working already and held two sessions and its potential is quite considerable. We need take it inter-agency format. We have a common opinion. In this regard, we need to involve foreign agencies other relevant agencies involved in cantering terrorism,” he said.
“It is clear that we cannot solve this problem by ourselves need a broad anti-terror front”, he said Russia will actively support UN Secretary-General António Guterres recent suggestion to the UN General Assembly to create a new UN office In New York to coordinate fight against terrorism.
South Korean Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said in her speech that the recent terror attacks in the world, including in BRICS countries, make it necessary for South Africa to re-emphasise that terrorism in all its forms and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned.
“We join the clarion call for the total isolation and eradication of all terror groups. They have no place among the community of nations,” she said.