Cyber security, terrorism top BRICS security heads' agenda

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 14:10 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Top security officials of the BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - Thursday discussed ways to boost cooperation on issues like cyber security, terrorism, piracy and other threats to international security.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, briefing reporters after a meeting of high representatives on national security of the bloc, said they also discussed major regional and global developments, including the turmoil in West Asia and the trouble in north Africa.

"We discussed how BRICS, which today account for 43 percent of the world's population, around one quarter of the world's GDP - of how we can work together for global peace, for stability, for development, and how BRICS could be a factor of stability and growth," he said.

There was a "high level of congruence in our discussion of these issues", he said, adding that their discussions would act as inputs ahead the Durban summit to be held in Durban, South Africa, in March. The NSAs of the bloc have begun meeting since 2009.

On Syria, the officials were of the view that the Syrian people should be allowed to choose their future, and "the international community can only be a facilitator". The officials also voiced concern over the increasing violence and deteriorating situation as well as "the rise in extremist and terrorist forces".

"Our own feeling was that what is needed is that a political process which actually tries to include all Syrians in it is what is required. There are no military solutions to this kind of a problem," said Menon.

On cyber security, the officials discussed ways on "exchanging best practices, whether it is putting our emergency response teams in touch with each other, whether it is dealing with cyber crime". The officials plan to carry forward their ideas by setting up sub-groups, or sherpas.

Menon Friday is to meet Dai Bingguo, Chinese State Councilor, who was present at the talks Thursday. Dai is also the special representative on the India-China border talks.

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