Krishna to attend RIC ministerial meeting in China

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will leave for China today to attend the 10th Russia, India, China (RIC) ministerial meeting.

This is the sixth stand-alone meeting and it will focus on international and regional issues, the international situation and enhancing trilateral cooperation in the G-20 framework.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary (Eurasia) will accompany Krishna.

The Foreign Ministers of the three countries will attend a working dinner tonight.

On Monday, there will be three plenary sessions followed by a joint press conference and a banquet, which will be hosted by the Government of Hubei.

Krishna will also hold bilateral meetings with his Russian and Chinese counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Yang Jiechi.

The trilateral meeting is expected to assess current international situation in the context of the outcomes of the G-20 Summit in Seoul.

The ministers are also expected to discuss issues related to the process of reform of the system of global financial management and international financial institutions, as well as building cooperation among Russia, India and China in the framework of the BRIC and the G20, besides exchanging views on energy security and climate issues.

Besides the strategic issues, RIC meeting will take up issues relating to disaster relief, agriculture and public health, deepening communication among academic, industrial and business circles as well as promote multi-lateral cooperation and democratic international relations.

Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, said India had key mult-faceted relationships with both Russia and China, which are its strategic partners.

"Together we account for 40 per cent of the global population and over 20 per cent of the global land mass. We are among the fastest growing major emerging economies in the world. We also have influential voices which are heard beyond the region, beyond Asia," he added.

He said the trilateral meeting broadly covers political issues which include UN reforms, terrorism, West Asia, Asia Pacific regional cooperation, Korean peninsula, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and so on.

"Besides political issues, it also focuses on trade and economic matters which would include the G-20 process, global economic governance architecture, climate change, Doha Round and WTO, development cooperation, energy, and so on," he added.

The first RIC Ministerial Meeting had taken place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in 2002. The first standalone Foreign Ministers' meeting took place in Vladivostok in June 2005. (ANI)

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