New Delhi: While the Chinese and Russian presidents will attend the extraordinary virtual meeting of the BRICS grouping to discuss the crisis in West Asia on Tuesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will skip it, apparently due to the ongoing election campaigning.
As per official sources, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar will represent India at the meeting convened by South Africa, the current chair of the group. Modi is the middle of a campaign blitzkrieg in the state of Rajasthan, which goes to the polls on November 25. He is scheduled to address three campaign rallies on Tuesday.
South Africa’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Monday that President Cyril Ramaphosa had convened an “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East situation” on November 21.
“Leaders of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – will join the virtual Extraordinary Meeting with invited BRICS leaders of Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates,” said the press release. The UN secretary general Antonio Guterres will also take part in the meeting.
A joint statement will be issued at the end of the summit, as per the South African foreign ministry.
The Kremlin confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be participating at the virtual meeting. He had skipped the BRICS summit held in Johannesburg earlier this year which invited six new countries to join the grouping.
President Xi Jinping is also set to participate in the BRICS meeting, as announced by the Chinese foreign ministry.
Among the BRICS members, both old and new, India and Ethiopia were the only two to abstain in the voting for the UN General Assembly Resolution that called for humanitarian pause to allow for supply of food, fuel and water to the Gaza Strip. All the other members had voted in favour.
On October 7, Hamas launched a terror attack from Gaza strip into southern Israel and killed more than 1,400 people. Since then, Israel launched counter-strikes into Gaza which has left more than 14,000 people dead, as per last official count.