National security advisors of the BRICS countries have agreed to strengthen joint efforts on enhancing cyber security during a two-day meet in the Indian capital New Delhi that began on Thursday.
Indian NSA Ajit Doval hosted his BRICS counterparts: Sergio Westphalen Etchegoyen, Brazil’s Cabinet Chief for Institutional Security, Nikolai P. Patrushev, Russian Secretary of the Security Council, Yang Jiechi, Chinese State Councilor and Mbangiseni David Mahlobo, South African Minister of State Security.
An emailed statement from the South African State Security Ministry said the security officials reasserted the positive contribution of the BRICS grouping on important global issues. The meet was aimed at taking stock of security issues such as counter terrorism, cyber security and energy security.
“They also exchanged assessments of recent developments in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region,” the statement added.
“They agreed to strengthen joint efforts on enhancing cyber security by sharing of information and best practices, combating cyber-crimes, improving cooperation between technical and law enforcement agencies including joint cyber security R&D and capacity building.”
The BRICS officials also underscored the need for “a global legal regime to deal with the global menace of terrorism”.
The BRICS national security advisors also met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
India and China have held joint counter-terrorism exercises in recent years.
The BRICS group sees the anti-terrorism collaboration within the bloc as a way to counter the threat of violent extremism emanating from the WANA (West Asia and North Africa) region.
The terrorism and barbarity of the Islamic State (IS), the militant group that has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq since 2014, has disrupted the peace in West Asia and beyond.
A partial truce brokered by the US and Russia in Syria came into effect on Monday. This will lead to co-ordinated air strikes by the US and Russia against the Islamic State and the Al-Nusra Front.
India has long faced terrorist attacks that it blames on Pakistan based militant groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
China says it faces a threat from Islamists in its far western region of Xinjiang, some of whom it says have received training overseas, including in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The BRICS security officials on Monday agreed on a BRICS Forum “to progressively consolidate cooperation and exchanges among respective agencies in security related fields”.