In virtual meet, BRICS NSAs review developments in Afghanistan

Updated on Aug 24, 2021 11:36 PM IST

The national security advisers of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping on Tuesday reviewed the regional, global political and security scenario, especially developments in Afghanistan, Iran and West Asia

File photo: India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (ANI)
File photo: India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (ANI)

The national security advisers of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping on Tuesday reviewed the regional, global political and security scenario, especially developments in Afghanistan, Iran and West Asia.

A virtual meeting of the NSAs, which was chaired by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, also adopted an action plan for combating terrorism and its financing for consideration by the leaders’ summit of the grouping to be held later this year.

Meetings of the BRICS’ high representatives responsible for national security have become an important platform for exchanging views on political and security issues among member states.

“Today’s meeting reviewed the regional and global political and security scenario with particular reference to current developments in Afghanistan, Iran, West Asia and the Gulf and emerging threats to national security, such as cyber security,” the external affairs ministry said about the meeting that was held a little more than a week after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

“India raised the issue of cross-border terrorism and activities of groups such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which enjoy state support and threaten peace and security,” the ministry said.

The NSAs also discussed cooperation among law enforcement agencies, health safety and healthcare, and counter-terrorism.

As a follow up to the adoption of the BRICS counter-terrorism strategy at the leaders’ summit in 2020, the NSAs adopted the BRICS counter-terrorism action plan to be considered at the next summit to be hosted by India, which currently holds the presidency of the group.

The action plan aims to strengthen existing mechanisms to combat terrorism and its financing, prevent misuse of the internet by terrorists, curb travel by terrorists, enhance border controls, protect soft targets, share information, and build capacity.

The meeting discussed the heightened risk posed by an increase in illegal drug production and trafficking, and the NSAs agreed to enhance cooperation in this area between the concerned agencies of the BRICS member states. Health safety and healthcare were identified as a priority area of cooperation in light of new challenges linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NSAs also agreed to strengthen cooperation in cyber security by sharing information, exchanging best practices and combating cyber-crimes. India had hosted a BRICS workshop on digital forensics in August.

The meeting was attended by Gen Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, head of the institutional security cabinet of Brazil, Russian NSA Nikolai Patrushev, Chinese NSA Yang Jiechi, and South Africa’s deputy minister of state security Ncediso Goodenough Kodwa.

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