Wuzhen (China): The Pulwama terror attack and the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN are expected to figure prominently at Russia, India and China (RIC) Foreign Ministers’ meeting which will start here, Wednesday.
Besides attending the annual trilateral meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would also hold bilateral talks with her Chinese and Russian counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting in which the listing of Azhar by the UN’s ‘1267 Committee’ is expected to figure.
Swaraj’s meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi assumes significance as it is the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack.
China, a veto-wielding member, has been consistently blocking India, the US, the UK and France’s efforts to list Azhar as a global terrorist since 2016 but endorsed a scathing statement issued February 21 by the UN Security Council on the Pulwama attack.
But after endorsing the statement in which JeM has been named, China the next day in an apparent attempt to placate Pakistan sought to play it down. It said that the mention of JeM in the statement was only in general terms and does not represent a judgement.
China also said that the Pakistani government showed readiness to cooperate with India on the investigation and that it was also ready to resolve differences with India through dialogue.
The issue of listing of Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN is expected to come up again as France, also a veto-wielding member of the high-power UN body, said it would move the resolution again.
The issue is also expected to figure prominently in Swaraj’s talks with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
This incidentally is the 16th meeting of the RIC Foreign Ministers.