Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, ahead of his departure for Johannesburg to participate at the 15th BRICS Summit, said he is looking forward to holding bilateral meetings with some of the world leaders there. Modi will attend the BRICS Summit at the invitation of South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Modi said also he has the honour to be the first Indian prime minister to visit Greece after 40 years.
Modi said the summit will provide a useful opportunity for its members to identify future areas of cooperation and review institutional development. He added 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,” he said.
“I also look forward to holding bilateral meetings with some of the Leaders present in Johannesburg,” he said.
“I am visiting the Republic of South Africa from 22-24 August 2023 at the invitation Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, to attend the 15th BRICS Summit being held in Johannesburg under the South African Chairmanship,” Modi said.
“I also look forward to holding bilateral meetings with some of the Leaders present in Johannesburg,” Modi added.
Modi added that from South Africa, he will travel to Athens, Greece on August 25 at the invitation of Greece Prime Minister 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,” he said.
Contacts between our two civilizations stretch back over two millennia and, in modern times, our ties have been strengthened by shared values of democracy, rule of law and pluralism, he said. Cooperation in diverse sectors such as trade and investment, defence, and cultural and people-to-people contacts have been bringing our two countries closer, he added.
He looked forward to visiting Greece and opening a new chapter in our multifaceted relationship, Modi said.
BRICS is a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The summit will be held from August 22-24. This will be 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.
On Monday, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra in a briefing ahead of Modi’s visit to South Africa and Greece, said, “As I mentioned in my remarks, the host country South Africa has invited a large number of guest countries, besides of course the BRICS members who would be present there.”
Kwatra stated that a business delegation from India is also travelling to the country to attend the Business Tracks meetings.
Providing details about the PM’s trip, Kwatra said, “For the 15th BRICS Summit, a business delegation from India is also travelling to South Africa to attend the Business Tracks meetings and also the meetings of the BRICS Business Council, BRICS Women Business Alliance and the BRICS Business Forum.”
“The Prime Minister’s schedule in terms of bilateral meetings with those leaders who would be present in South Africa is still being developed,” Kwatra said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will join the 15th 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 summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa.