Terrorism remained the dominant discourse of the first stand-alone meeting of the National Security Advisors of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) held here.
Brazil is worried about terror threats as it prepares for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. South Africa is concerned about the terror elements making Mali, which is not too far from them, their base. Russians and Chinese have faced terror attacks, just like India.
Prior to this meeting, the NSAs, since 2009, have been meeting on the sidelines of international summits.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, after the meeting, said, “We discussed ways to enhance our cooperation and coordination in issues like cyber security, terrorism, piracy and other such threats to international security.”
Describing the discussions as “constructive, positive and forward-looking”, he said, “There was a high level of congruence in our discussion of these issues... The aim was to consult, coordinate and see where we can cooperate on some of these issues.”
He said most of the BRICS countries were in the process of putting in place rules, structures and systems to deal with cyber security issues.
“Whether it is India, China, each of us is in the process of putting in place regulations, structures, organisations to deal with this. So, there was a fairly detailed discussion of that...”
“The more networked we get and the more our citizens use and depend upon the Internet and social media, the more concern there is about that it be safe, secure and healthy,” Menon said.
On Syria, the NSA said, “...All of us felt that it is for the Syrian people to choose their future. The international community can only be a facilitator. Secondly, we thought the deterioration in the situation and the increasing violence was something of great concern. Also the rise in extremist and terrorist forces in the region and in Syria itself seems to be increasing over time. A political process which actually tries to include all Syrians in it is required. There are no military solutions to this kind of a problem.”
Besides Menon, the other delegation heads were Ricardo Paes de Barros, Secretary for Strategic Actions from Brazil, Nikolai P Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council from Russia, Dai Bingguo, State Councilor from China, and Siyabonga C Cwele from South Africa.
Menon said the delegates will now report to their leaders and the discussions will feed into the preparations for the Durban Summit