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Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at 14th RIC Foreign Ministers Meeting, Moscow (April 18, 2016)

April 18, 2016

His Excellency, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
His Excellency, Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be in this beautiful capital of Russia for the 14th RIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting. I would like to convey my gratitude to Russia for the very warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation and the excellent arrangements for our meetings.

This is my second RIC meeting as the External Affairs Minister of India, the last being in Beijing in February 2015. These meetings provide a good opportunity to our three influential countries to exchange views on how we could jointly contribute to international peace, security and development.

India believes that the foremost challenge to international security continues to be posed by international terrorism. The RIC countries must lead the way in getting the international community together to counter terrorism through joint action, including at the UN. We must not fail in this regard. If we continue to adopt double standards in dealing with terrorism it will have serious consequences not just for our own countries, but the international community as a whole.

Let me also touch upon the issue of reform of UN Security Council, on which there has been some positive movement with a text being put for the first time on the table for inter-governmental negotiations. However, we need greater urgency on this issue. I seek the support of my Chinese and Russian colleagues for taking the IGN process forward.

The slowdown of the global economy has created its own set of issues for all our economies and development agendas. As three large, emerging economies, we share similar approaches and could benefit from coordinating our positions.

BRICS is an important framework in this regard and we look forward to active participation of all members in the meetings of BRICS during our presidency this year. We hope to have a very successful BRICS Summit in Goa in October.

Let me end by re-emphasizing the importance of RIC for consultations on regional and global issues of common concern. I look forward to our consultations today.

Thank you.

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