Friday, Sep 26, 2003
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By Sridhar Krishnaswami
According to Mr. Sinha, the discussions were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere with the developments in Iraq and the reform of the United Nations system being two of the major topics under focus. This is the second time in as many years that the Foreign Ministers of the three countries are getting together here.
The meeting of the "troika" cannot be seen as yet another get-together on the sidelines of the General Assembly session. Both at the U.N. and elsewhere, Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi are seen as major players on the international arena whose views and support are actively sought.
In the present instance, Iraq is a dominant theme at the world body; and as permanent members of the Security Council, Russia and China have views that are at sharp variance with that of the United States. At the same time, Russia has made it known that it is willing to facilitate a new resolution on Iraq provided there is a spirit of give-and-take on the part of the U.S.
Political solution needed
At the end of an hour-long luncheon meeting, Mr. Sinha said that on Iraq the three agreed that what the war-torn nation needed was not more troops but a political solution that saw Iraqis getting back their sovereignty.
Later in the evening, Mr. Sinha told the Indian media that the three Foreign Ministers had especially agreed to work on the reform of the U.N. system, an issue that has merited a lot of attention in the last few days from world leaders attending the 58th General Assembly session. The Secretary-General, in his opening address, criticised the lack of forward movement on the reform of the functional agencies of the U.N., including the Security Council.
The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, will be inviting his counterparts from India and China to Russia over a weekend for a more detailed discussion on various issues, Mr. Sinha said.
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