Joint Statement, Second Meeting of the India-Russia Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism
The second meeting of the India-Russia Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism was held on 8th April, 2004 in New Delhi. The Indian delegation was led by Mrs. Meera Shankar, Additional Secretary (International Security) in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Russian side was led by H.E. Mr. Anatoly E. Safonov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. Both delegations included an interagency group of counter-terrorism and law enforcement officials.
2. The two sides recalled that the India-Russia Joint Working Group on Combating international terrorism was established following the MOU signed during the visit of the President of the Russian Federation to India in December, 2002 and constitutes an important element of the strategic partnership between the two countries. They unequivocally condemned all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable and reiterated their determination to further strengthen their cooperation in combating it.
3. The two sides shared their assessment of law enforcement, legislative, financial and other measures taken against terrorists and their networks since the last meeting in September 2003. International and regional developments were reviewed. The Indian side provided an assessment of terrorism challenges in the South Asian region, including cross-border terrorism affecting India while the Russian side gave their perspective on terrorism challenges confronting Russia.
4. The two sides also reviewed multilateral efforts to counter terrorism and agreed that the institutional mechanisms set up by the UN Security Council in this regard should be further strengthened and made more effective. They shared their assessment of progress on various multilateral initiatives under consideration with specific emphasis on Indiaís initiative for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the Russian initiative for a Convention on Suppression of Nuclear Terrorism. The two sides exchanged views on new challenges including the threat of proliferation of WMDs to terrorist organisations. They also discussed linkages between trafficking in narcotics and the financing of terrorism. Both sides agreed that continued cultivation of opium poppy and trafficking in narcotics poses a serious threat to security, political stability and economic development in many regions.
5. The Joint Working Group attached special importance to strengthening bilateral mechanisms. The two delegations agreed to deepen their counter-terrorism cooperation, in particular through:-
- Exchange of information and sharing of experience in their fight against international terrorism;
- Strengthening cooperation in curbing trafficking in Narcotics;
- Continuing cooperation to address the threat of terrorist financing;
- Extending support for the full and effective implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1373 and the work of the Security Councilís Counter Terrorism Committee;
- Continuing consultations on the Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism and the Convention against Acts of Nuclear Terrorism with a view to their finalisation.
6. The two sides agreed to hold next session of the India-Russia Joint Working Group on combating international terrorism in Moscow by the end of the year 2004.
08 April, 2004
Source: Official Website of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi