‘First Time Since 2019′: Why 15th BRICS Summit Holds ‘Enormous Significance’ | India News

NEW DELHI: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a four-day visit to South Africa and Greece on Tuesday, Dammu Ravi, the Sherpa for the 15th BRICS Summit, said the former’s visit was significant as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between India and South Africa. “This is the first time since 2019, post the Covid pandemic, that leaders are meeting in person. So in that sense, this assumes enormous importance and significance as all the leaders are meeting in person,” Ravi told ANI.

“From India’s point of view, this is the third time that Prime Minister is visiting South Africa and this visit also marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa,” he added. “[For] both sides, India and South Africa, [visit] is very important. Now, as far as the BRICS agenda is concerned, there are many issues that are being discussed and most importantly the BRICS expansion item on the agenda and second is the use of national currency for trading and economic activity amongst the BRICS countries,” Dammu told ANI.

“From India’s point of view, the development dimension is an issue that is so crucial and critical for the global south on which Prime Minister has always been emphasizing the solutions and the challenges for the global south that we all have to collectively work together,” the Sherpa stated further.

“There are lots of ideas of Prime Minister Modi’s which are being discussed in the BRICS meetings, in the negotiations, at the Sherpa level and this will feed into the leaders’ declaration in a couple of days from now,” he added. PM Modi will attend the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, which gets underway on Tuesday and will culminate on August 24. He is attending the event at the invitation of the president of the host country, Cyril Ramaphosa.

PM Modi said earlier the BRICS has been actively engaged in fostering a robust collaboration agenda across diverse sectors and serves as a platform to deliberate upon issues of significance for the entire Global South. He added that he looks forward to holding bilateral meetings with “some of the leaders present in Johannesburg”.

“BRICS has been pursuing a strong cooperation agenda across various sectors. We value that BRICS has become a platform for discussing and deliberating on issues of concern for the entire Global South, including development imperatives and reform of the multilateral system,” PM Modi said in a statement. BRICS is a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The BRICS summit will be held from August 22-24. This will be PM Modi’s third visit to South Africa and the trip marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between India and South Africa. This year’s BRICS is under the presidency of South Africa. The theme of this year’s summit is: “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for mutually accelerated growth, sustainable development and inclusive multilateralism.

“This will be the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The PM further said, “During my stay in Johannesburg, I will also participate in BRICS–Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue event that will be held as part of the BRICS Summit activities. I look forward to interacting with a number of guest countries that have been invited to participate in this event.”

This will be the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the 15th BRICS Summit virtually while the Russian delegation will be led by foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. He will also participate in a special event with the theme “Brics – Africa outreach and Brics plus dialogue”.

This is being organised after the BRICS Summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa. From South Africa, the PM will travel to Athens, Greece on Friday at the invitation of Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “This will be my first visit to this ancient land. I have the honour to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Greece after 40 years,” PM Modi was quoted as saying further in the official release.

“Contacts between our two civilizations stretch back over two millennia. In modern times, our ties have been strengthened by shared values of democracy, the rule of law and pluralism. Cooperation in diverse sectors such as trade and investment, defence, and cultural and people-to-people contacts have been bringing our two countries closer,” the PM said on the civilizational ties between India and Greece. “I look forward to my visit to Greece opening a new chapter in our multifaceted relationship,” he added.

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