Sergei Lavrov met in New Delhi woh his counterparts from India and China, three foreign ministers are going to start the talks focused on security and trade issues in the region. The Russia-India-China (RIC) group also will discuss issue of Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Korean Peninsula.
Ahead of the trilateral meeting, Russian foreign minister Lavrov held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and will also meet separately with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. On sunday, Mr Lavov expressed his hope that the 15th meeting of RIC Group will also address the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and efforts to smooth the flow of information on international security.
Lavrov and Swaraj were expected to discuss progress in the development of the 7,200-kilometer International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) that links India, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia with Europe. The corridor would pass through Azerbaijan and Russia en route to northwestern Europe.
On December 3, Iran officially opened an extension of its southeastern port of Chabahar, which Tehran hopes will become a key transit hub for landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia. Analysts say the Chabahar port could challenge Pakistan’s Gwadar port, some 80 kilometers from Chabahar, which is being developed with Chinese investment.
India media are reporting that the three foreign ministers will issue a joint communique at the end of their daylong talks.
RIC Group will discuss the border issues
The RIC session was originally scheduled for April, but China did not confirm Wang’s attendance, taken by some as a sign of Beijing’s displeasure over a visit by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, to the state of Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India.
China’s foreign minister underlined in his statement that as the world goes through transformations and uncertainties, emerging economies have responsibilities that can be met through constant strategic cooperation. The trilaterial cooperation between Russia, India, and China should help the countries to find the diplomatic solutions in frame of their joint strategy.
The top Indian diplomat supported her Chinese counterpart, saying that:
“India and China agreed that we have to increase confidence to improve understanding, and to meet all the time, even without an agenda, would be better for China-India relations,”
Sushma Swaraj said.