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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 15:42 GMT
'Big three' hold key Delhi talks
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (L) Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (C) and Russia Sergei Lavrov (R)
The three ministers said their meeting was very cordial
The foreign ministers of India, China and Russia have met in the Indian capital, Delhi, to discuss terrorism, drug trafficking and Afghanistan.

An Indian foreign ministry statement said the meeting discussed key global issues, including the importance of the United Nations.

The statement said the three countries agreed on the need to make the UN more effective, reflecting global realities.

They also agreed to meet more regularly and strengthen three-way co-operation.

'More effective'

"We shared our thoughts on the political, economic and security aspects of the global situation, the present world order and recent developments in various areas of mutual concern," a statement by the Indian foreign ministry said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee
India and China enjoy vastly improved relations

"We agreed that co-operation rather than confrontation should govern approaches to regional and global affairs."

Correspondents say that India's ongoing campaign for a permanent seat on the UN security council was not mentioned in the closing statement, but the three countries did acknowledge the need for UN reform by calling for it to be made "more effective".

Representatives of the three also stressed that their interaction would contribute to strengthening peace, security and stability in their region and the rest of the world.

"There was coincidence of views against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and on the need to address financing of terrorism and its linkages with narco-trafficking," the closing statement said.

The three countries also assessed developments in Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

Air links

The relationship between the three countries was first proposed by former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov during a visit to Delhi in 1998.

This is the second such gathering of ministers focussing on a number of international issues.

The foreign ministers of the three states last met in Vladivostok in Russia in 2005.

The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers on Tuesday discussed better air links and easing visa restrictions.

President Putin is greeted by India's PM
President Putin had lengthy talks with India last year.

That meeting was the first contact between Delhi and Beijing since China conducted a test of a missile capable of attacking satellites last month.

Officials say that Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Indian counterpart, Pranab Mukherjee, discussed how to strengthen regional co-operation and set up a mechanism to manage issues related to shared rivers.

The Chinese delegation made a statement on the test during the talks, India's ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao, said.

"They stressed that China was against the weaponisation and militarisation of outer space and that the test conducted, according to them, was of a purely technological and scientific nature," she said.

Border row

Mr Li and his Indian host, Pranab Mukherjee, also discussed the border dispute that led to the 1962 conflict between the two countries, Indian officials said.

Correspondents say that a formal ceasefire line was never established after the war, but the border has remained mostly peaceful after agreements were signed in 1993 and 1996.

India says that China occupies 38,000 square kms (14,670 square miles) of Indian territory in the disputed region of Kashmir which it says was illegally ceded to China by Pakistan in the 1950s.

China in turn, claims 90,000 sq kms in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.




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The foreign ministers speak about the outcome of the talks



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