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India's role in Afghanistan gets Brazil, S Africa support

world Updated: Apr 17, 2010 00:58 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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India's role in Afghanistan has been endorsed by Brazil and South Africa even as the three nations favoured a diplomatic way out of the international community's problems with Iran's nuclear programme.

Expressing concern over deteriorating military and political situation in Afghanistan, leaders at the fourth IBSA summit stressed on looking into regional aspects while rebuilding the war-ravaged country.

IBSA is a tri-nation grouping for promoting cooperation among India, Brazil and South Africa.

The Brasilia Declaration, adopted on Friday, also condemned "terrorist attacks targeting Indian humanitarian and development workers" in Kabul on February 26. The attacks in the heart of the Afghan capital left 26 people, 7 of them Indians, dead. Though Taliban owned up, some analysts thought the strikes were the work of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.

Iran, which is staring at another round of sanctions if Washington manages enough global support, was also discussed when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and South African President Jacob Zuma met.

"The leaders recognised the right of Iran to develop nuclear programmes for peaceful purposes in keeping with its international obligations," the declaration said.

The three nations agreed to together develop satellites for space programmes and climate studies, which are crucial for food security.

In his address, Singh made a pitch for UN reforms and an early conclusion of an international convention to combat terrorism. "The systems of global governance have not kept pace with the changing realities of the world," he said.

"There is an urgent need for reform of the UN, including the Security Council, by making it more democratic and representative."

Referring to the commencement of text-based negotiations in the UN this month as a positive development, the PM said it were the efforts of India, Brazil, Japan, Germany and South Africa that had set the UN reform process in motion.

Calling for a global fight against terrorism, Singh said, "We should make all efforts for the early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the UN."