Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 12th BRICS Summit on Tuesday, where he will once again share a platform with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PM Modi and Jinping had earlier on November 10 shared a virtual platform at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. BRICS is a grouping of five countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Besides Modi and Jinping, the three heads who will attend the summit include Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The bloc represents over 3.6 billion people, or half of the world's population. The BRICS countries have a combined GDP of USD 16.6 trillion.
This year's summit is hosted by Russia under the theme of 'Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth'. The leaders of the five nations will have a focus on cooperation in counter-terrorism, trade, health, energy and ways to offset impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"At the invitation of President Putin, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the 12th BRICS Summit hosted by Russia, under the theme 'Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth' on November 17," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
The summit is taking place at a time when India and China are locked in a bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh. Soldiers of the two Asian giants are locked in an impasse for the last six months.
At the SCO summit held on November 10, PM Modi had said that all member nations should respect each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. "India believes that to enhance connectivity, it is important that we move forward by following the core principle of respecting each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he had said. The SCO currently comprises eight nations -- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India will be taking over the chair of the BRICS, which would be the third BRICS Presidency for India since its inception in 2009. India hosted the summit in 2012 and 2016.