Bangalore to host multilateral summit

Russia, India and China to outline common goals at the meet

 
The tech city has been chosen as the venue for the trilateral RIC meeting at External Affairs Minister S M Krishna’s behest. The foreign ministers of the three countries will discuss a set agenda during the day-long meet at the Leela Palace Hotel.

The three foreign ministers — Krishna, Yang Jiechi of China and Sergei Lavrov of Russia — are expected to deliberate on climate change, restructuring of multilateral funding agencies and the global economic recession, besides regional issues. The stand-alone RIC has a trilateral agenda in which the three emerging economies of the world will outline their common goals and objectives.

This will be the second meeting of RIC foreign ministers. The first meeting was held in May 2008 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The three countries are home to nearly 40 per cent of the world population and have been urging the international community to reform international financial institutions while seeking for an equitable world order. All the three nations are also members of the G20.

Since it is a trilateral meeting, bilateral issues are not on the agenda. However, issues relating to the simmering tensions between India and China may figure in informal talks on the sidelines of the meet.

Speaking to Deccan Herald informally here on Friday, Krishna said he would raise the issue with his Chinese counterpart. “I want to tell Chinese minister Yang that there is space for both China and India. I will tell him that we should understand and appreciate this, without offending each other’s sensibilities. We should concentrate on development within our countries.” Though the RIC meeting was scheduled a month ago, the visit of Yang is significant in the backdrop of a series of bilateral stand-offs between the two Asian giants. In an unusual and strong statement, China, on October 13 objected to the visit of the prime minister to Arunachal Pradesh, which it claims is a disputed region.

India protested this and the following day asked China to cease its activities in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. As reports surfaced about China building a massive dam on its side of the Brahmaputra river, India has expressed its concern that such a project might have significant impact on the socio-economic condition of people living downstream.

Krishna had met the Chinese foreign minister at the ASEAN and East Asia Summit in Phuket, Thailand, in July and last month in New York. Before the Bangalore meet, Krishna will meet Lavrov in Moscow on October 20.

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