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3 Aug, 2023 17:35

Modi to attend BRICS summit in person — New Delhi

The PM's office has shot down earlier reports that the Indian leader might participate in the meeting remotely
Modi to attend BRICS summit in person — New Delhi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed he will personally participate in this year’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg, during a phone call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday, according to the PM’s office. The bloc’s members – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – are scheduled to meet on August 22-24. 

[The] PM accepted the invitation and conveyed that he looked forward to his visit to Johannesburg to participate in the Summit,” the statement read. Ramaphosa, for his part, said that he looked forward to visiting India to attend the G-20 summit in September.

The two leaders remarked on progress made in bilateral cooperation, including in the context of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries, celebrated this year, and discussed a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest, New Delhi said. 

The announcement follows recent media speculation that Modi might participate in the summit remotely. On Tuesday, the Economic Times reported that the Indian government was weighing having the PM attend the meeting online “considering the geopolitical developments that would see Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the summit virtually.” A day later, Reuters also cited sources as saying Modi could take part in the event by video link. 

Earlier on Thursday, the spokesperson for India’s external affairs ministry, Arindam Bagchi, refused to comment on the rumors, urging reporters to “be patient” and not to believe “speculative media reports.” 

Last month, Moscow announced that Putin would take part in the BRICS summit via video link, with Russia represented in person by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Kremlin said that despite participating remotely, the Russian leader’s contribution to the meeting would be “comprehensive.