External Affairs

India Likely To Propose BRICS Aid For Syrian Reconstruction

The proposal will mostly be floated during the meeting of BRICS Sherpas next week, before the leaders of BRICS gather in Goa later this month.

Credit: Reuters

Russia, in particular, believes it will play a significant role in Syria’s future development. Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: India is likely to propose a joint effort in the reconstruction of Syria, most likely in the form of a fund, at the BRICS summit in Goa.

Sources said that India will float this proposal during the meeting of BRICS Sherpas next week, before the leaders of India, China, Brazil, South Africa and Russia gather in Goa.

The Goa declaration will obviously carry the group’s observation on Syria, as it has done in previous years. But, there will be strong push from Russia to show a more “muscular” approach on this front, with Moscow involved in military campaign along with Bashar Al-Assad government over rebels.

Earlier this week, US suspended cooperation with Russia over Syria, after Moscow refused to end bombing of opposition-held eastern Aleppo.

Russian deputy minister Sergey Ryabkov had told the state news agency, Sputnik that there was no other country which “is as immersed at such depth” in the Syria issue. “Therefore, our voice has clout, with all due respect to the role played by our Chinese, Indian friends, colleagues from South Africa and Brazil at many international venues,” he said.

The Russian minister said that Moscow expected that “our approaches, guidelines, assessments will receive adequate support and be reflected in the final document, although we have great respect to other countries’ approaches”.

Since the 2015 BRICS summit was held in Russia, the UFA declaration had a large portion related to Syria. Russia’s hand was especially clear in the manner in which the declaration supported steps taken by Moscow for political settlement and the reference to “politicisation of humanitarian assistance”

Indian sources said that New Delhi will make the proposal for a BRICS assistance fund for Syria, but its adoption will require support from all other countries.

For India, a stronger statement on terrorism would be its main priority among political issues to be included in the Goa Declaration.

Sources indicated that India would like explicit reference to cross-border terrorism, but since it was a multilateral document, negotiations were still on to discuss the exact phrase. China, Pakistan’s main ally, may not be too keen to have a mention of cross-border terrorism, especially since it has not figured in previous BRICS documents.

The BRICS summit will be held in Goa on Oct 15-16, which will also include an outreach event with BIMSTEC countries.