India, Russia, China Hold Trilateral Meeting After 12 years

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BUENOS AIRES — Leaders of India, China and Russia have called for reforming multilateral institutions, including the UN and WTO, as they underscored the benefits of a multilateral trading system and an open world economy for global growth and prosperity during a trilateral meeting they held after a gap of 12 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held the trilateral meeting on Friday, the second among the three countries after a gap of 12 years, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here to discuss cooperation in various areas.

“Excellent meeting of the RIC (Russia, India, China) Trilateral. President Putin, President Xi Jinping and I discussed a wide range of subjects that would further cement the friendship between our nations and enhance world peace,” Modi said.

The Russia-India-China (RIC) meeting came hours after Prime Minister Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump held their first trilateral meeting on the margins of the summit.

“Deepening engagement with valued development partners. President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping and PM @narendramodi participate in the RIC (Russia, India, China) trilateral in Buenos Aires. @KremlinRussia,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said the three leaders exchanged views on expanding mutual cooperation in international forums, and to encourage greater interaction among the three countries. 

“They agreed on the importance of reform and strengthening of multilateral institutions which have benefitted the world, including the United Nations, WTO and well-established as well as new global financial institutions. They underscored the benefits of a multilateral trading system and an open world economy for global growth and prosperity,” it said.

The three leaders agreed to have regular consultations to jointly promote international and regional peace and stability, to strengthen cooperation through BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) mechanisms, to address global challenges such as terrorism and climate change, and to encourage peaceful resolution of all differences, the statement added.

They also acknowledged the importance of cooperation in RIC format and agreed to hold further such trilateral meetings on multilateral occasions.

Briefing the media about the RIC meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale later said the trilateral was a “very positive meeting”.

“Prime Minister thanked President Putin for initiating this effort and all three leaders felt that given our respective roles as emerging economies and emerging markets, given our respective roles and influence in the world in terms of maintaining peace and stability in the region that it was perhaps important that the three countries should cooperate and coordinate in various areas in order to contribute to global peace and prosperity,” Gokhale said.

The views expressed by all three leaders were very similar and “they all felt that we should work together to steer global economic governance,” he said.

“They felt that the three countries should work together where we could promote peace and stability in regional crisis,” the foreign secretary said.

The three leaders felt that “we should work together on terrorism, we should work together on disaster relief and humanitarian assistance and in general the effort would be, not that the cooperation would be directed against anybody but that the cooperation would be based upon how these three countries, each having their own strengths in the world could contribute to global good,” Gokhale added.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the meeting was characterised by warmth and positivity.

The three leaders discussed cooperation and coordination in various areas which could contribute to global peace and stability, Kumar said, adding that the ‘RIC’ trilateral summit took place after a gap of 12 years.

Earlier, India, Japan and the US discussed major issues of global and multilateral interests in their first trilateral meeting, which assumed importance in the wake of China flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. 

At the meeting, India underscored its firm commitment to make the Indo-Pacific a region for shared economic growth. 

Asserting that India will “continue to work together on shared values”, Modi said, “When you look at the acronym of our three countries — Japan, America, and India — it is ‘JAI’, which stands for success in Hindi.”  
 

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