More Iran diplomacy for SA

2010-04-16 10:14

South Africa, India and Brazil agreed in a trilateral summit that more diplomacy was required in the international standoff with Iran regarding its controversial nuclear program.

The accord, struck in a brief meeting ahead of a Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) summit in Brasilia, hewed to Brazil’s line defending Iran from building efforts in the UN Security Council to slap the Islamic republic with more sanctions.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma “recognised the right for Iran to develop nuclear programs for peaceful purposes in keeping with its international obligations.”

They called on Iran to cooperate “fully” with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

But they also underlined “the need for a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the issue.”

The three countries emphasised their separate long-held ambitions to wield decision-making powers on the UN Security Council by saying envisaged reforms of the UN needed “an expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership, with increased participation of developing countries in both.”

India, which possesses nuclear weapons, expressed concern with Brazil and South Africa – which both abandoned their nuclear arms programs years ago – that lack of progress towards the “complete elimination of nuclear weapons” was of concern.

Brazil and South Africa condemned recent attacks in India, including a massacre by Maoist insurgents early this month of 76 police officers, as “terrorism.”

The three countries called for more cooperation to battle terrorism with full respect of international law.

The leaders also supported efforts to revive the Doha round of talks in the World Trade Organisation, pledged an extra $2 million to help the Haiti quake reconstruction effort, and announced the development of satellites for weather and Earth observation. – Sapa-AFP

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