Showing respect to the Indian tricolour flag, prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday picked the national flag up after he noticed it on the ground during the group photo at the BRICS meeting to mark the standing place of every leader and to make sure no one stepped on it.
Each leader’s place was marked with their respective country’s flag to denote their standing position. PM Modi showed respect for the tricolour when he picked it up. Acknowledging PM Modi’s gesture, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also picked his country’s flag after stepping on it.
While President Ramaphosa handed over his flag to an official, PM Modi kept the tricolour with him.
The BRICS leaders, including PM Modi, arrived at the Sandton Convention Centre on Wednesday to attend the plenary sessions. Prior to this, the leaders posed for a BRICS family photograph. Meanwhile, PM Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping were seen standing apart from each other as Ramaphosa held their hands together.
While addressing the plenary session, PM Modi hoped that India’s proposal to accord permanent membership of the G20 to the African Union will be supported by all the BRICS nations.
“We welcome the move to give special importance to the countries of the Global South in BRICS under the chairmanship of South Africa. This is not just the aspiration, but also the need of the present times. India has also given importance to this subject under its G20 presidency. One Earth One Family One Future – we are trying to move forward with all countries on this mantra. In the Voice of Global South summit in January this year, 125 countries participated and shared their concerns and priorities,” he said.
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On the sidelines of the summit, PM Modi also held a bilateral meeting with Ramaphosa during which they reviewed the progress made in bilateral ties, exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues and also on ways to work jointly to strengthen the voice of the Global South.
PM Modi arrived in South Africa on Tuesday and received a ceremonial welcome at Waterkloof Air Force Base. Upon his arrival, PM Modi received a rousing welcome from the Indian diaspora chanting ‘Vande Mataram’.
BRICS is a grouping of the world economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
(With inputs from agencies)