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The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Reacting sharply to the recent reports of US intelligence spying on data from BRICS countries, among a host of other nations, the five ministers stressed on the urgent need for “a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace”.
“The ministers expressed their concern about the reported practices of unauthorised interception of communications and data from citizens, businesses and members of governments, compromising national sovereignty and individual rights,” read an official statement by the South African Foreign Ministry.
BRICS also expressed grave concern at the “deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Syria” even as they welcomed the Syrian government’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention.
“They called upon all parties to commit immediately to a complete cease-fire, to halt violence and to end all violations of human rights and humanitarian law,” read the statement following Thursday’s meet.
The five foreign ministers also welcomed the framework agreement for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons reached by Russia and the United States.
“The ministers reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict and that it is time for diplomacy,” said the statement.
BRICS have stressed that the elimination of chemical weapons and the political process aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict should be pursued in parallel.
The meet also endorsed the resumption of negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
“They expressed their expectation that this renewed effort will lead to a two-state solution with a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel, within internationally recognised borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” read the joint statement.
The five foreign ministers, however, expressed concern about the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, which they said “constitutes a violation of international law and is harmful to the peace process”.
The BRICS Post