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Neighbors forge pragmatic cooperation
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The foreign ministers of China, India and Russia will meet today in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin to explore ways to enhance pragmatic trilateral cooperation.


They will exchange views on major international and regional issues and boost substantive economic cooperation in the various fields including agriculture, disaster relief and information technology.


The one-day discussion is expected to be wrapped up with a joint communiqué, as was the case in the last two talks.


This is the third stand-alone meeting among the three foreign ministers, who met earlier in New Delhi in February this year and in the Russian city Vladivostok in June 2005.


The three foreign ministers first met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2002. Since then, they have met six times.


The top leaders of China, India, and Russia met for the first time in July 2006 in St Petersburg on the sidelines of G8 summit.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said earlier that the trilateral consultation is open and transparent and not aimed at forming an alliance to counter Western powers.


Sun Shihai, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said coordination among the three countries "promoted democracy in the international relationship."


He noted that as the three countries are highly economic complementary to each other, down-to-earth cooperation is in the interests of all sides.


Sun cited the example of energy cooperation, saying both China and India would be willing to do business with oil-rich Russia while the latter would also benefit from the two economic growth engines of Asia.


Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold separate talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov today and Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow.


(China Daily October 24, 2007)

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