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BRICS nations underscore need for preventing Afghan soil as terrorists' sanctuary BRICS I Afghanistan

BRICS nations underscore need for preventing Afghan soil as terrorists' sanctuary

IBNS | @indiablooms | 10 Sep 2021, 01:04 am

New Delhi/UNI: The BRICS nations, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on Thursday  underscored the need for preventing Afghan soil from being used by terror organisations as a terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade within Afghanistan.

The New Delhi Declaration issued after the 13th Leaders Summit chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in virtual mode, said: “We follow with concern the latest developments in Afghanistan.”

The leaders represented by Presidents, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China, and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, called for "refraining from violence and settling the situation in Afghanistan by peaceful means” – in a reference to the fighting between the Taliban and the Resistance forces in Panjshir and other provinces of Afghanistan.

“We stress the need to contribute to fostering an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order in the country,” the leaders said. Afghanistan has witnessed widespread protests over the past few days after the Taliban claimed victory in Panjshir, and announced its caretaker government, which does not have any representation of women and several ethnic groups.

The nations condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks near the Hamid Karzai Kabul International Airport last month that resulted in a large number of deaths and injuries.

“We underscore the priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries, as well as drug trade within Afghanistan,” the declaration said.

“We emphasise the need to address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities,” it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had noted during the deliberations at the summit that Afghan territory should not be used for drug trafficking and terrorism, and not pose a problem for neighbours, said Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Sanjay Bhattacharya later at a media briefing.

He also said that President Putin during the deliberations noted the rise of radical movements in Afghanistan, of the Islamic State, and there was strong endorsement of India’s position on this.

Earlier, in his opening remarks at the summit, President Putin had slammed the US and its allies for the Afghanistan crisis, and said it is still unclear how the Afghanistan situation will affect the regional and global security system.

Devoting a large part of his opening remarks to Afghanistan, Putin said: “We are all interested in Afghanistan ceasing to be a threat to its neighbours and that the Afghan territory would not be a source of drug trafficking and terrorism,” even as the world is still tackling the migration flows from the country.

He said the withdrawal from Afghanistan by the US and its allies has led to a new crisis, “and that’s why it is for good reason that our countries have paid special attention to this issue.”

“Russia like its BRICS partners has consistently spoken for establishing long-awaited peace and stability on the Afghan soil,” he said.

Putin said the theme of the summit, Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’ “should in fact be the goal that the international community has to reach and the BRICS members have played a leading role, a prominent role in this”.

Putin’s comments come a day after India and Russia expressed deep concern over the developments in Afghanistan, especially over the presence of international terrorist groups there and the threat from terrorism spreading to Central Asia and India.

The situation in Afghanistan came up for a thorough review during talks here between India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and visiting Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on Wednesday.

The BRICS grouping also said that it is committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens and stressed on the need for a "comprehensive and balanced approach" to effectively confront the menace.

The New Delhi Declaration said the countries also rejected double standards in countering terrorism and extremism conducive to terrorism, and called for an expeditious finalization and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism within the UN framework.

It also called for cooperation within the Financial Action Task Force and its regional bodies to curb terror financing.

On Covid-19, the New Delhi Declaration noted that “cooperation on study of origins of the SARS-COV-2” is an important aspect of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and that the BRICS countries backed science-based, transparent, and timely processes, “free from politicization or interference” to better understand the emergence of the novel pathogens and prevent future pandemics.

It said the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to wreak immeasurable political, economic, and social damage globally for almost two years.

It said that the international community has a collective responsibility to work together against the Covid-19 pandemic in the true spirit of partnership within existing international frameworks including the WHO.

It also regretted “the glaring inequity in access to Covid vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, especially for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations”.

On the section on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system, the declaration said that both China and Russia reiterated the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations.

It recalled the UNGA Resolution 75/1 and reiterated the call for reforms of the principal organs of the United Nations.

The BRICS countries said they “recommit to instil new life in the discussions on reform of the UN Security Council and continue the work to revitalize the General Assembly and strengthen the Economic and Social Council. We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document and reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of developing countries so that it can adequately respond to global challenges.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his opening remarks while chairing the summit, said the BRICS countries have adopted the Counter-Terrorism Action Plan.

“We have also adopted the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan,” he said.

A PMO statement later said that "all BRICS partners agreed to accelerate implementation of the BRICS Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism".

The theme India selected for its tenure of Chairmanship was ‘BRICS@15: Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’. PM Modi said the four Cs are in a way the fundamental principles of our BRICS partnership.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his remarks, said that BRICS countries have become an important force on the international stage to be reckoned with, and called for deepening cooperation among the member states to build a closer and more results-oriented partnership to meet common challenges.

He said the bloc should consolidate their strategic partnership, support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests, and jointly safeguard their sovereignty, security and development interests.