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BRICS meet 2023: 'We Must send out a strong message that...'- S Jaishankar in South Africa | WATCH

BRICS meet 2023: MEA S Jaishankar during his foreign ministers meet address emphasises rebalancing the global scenario. Ukraine war has been one of the major agendas of the meet.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Cape Town Updated on: June 02, 2023 6:29 IST
S Jaishankar addresses BRICS meet 2023
Image Source : ANI S Jaishankar addresses BRICS meet 2023

 BRICS meet 2023: Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar met his counterparts from the BRICS economic bloc of developing nations in Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday for discussions that started with “an exchange of views” on major geopolitical issues, including the war in Ukraine.

Jaishankar in his opening remarks at the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Cape Town, vouched for multipolar and re-balanced world. 

"...The global environment today demands that we, the BRICS nations, approach key contemporary issues seriously, constructively and collectively. Our gathering must send out a strong message that the world is multipolar, that it is re-balancing and that old ways cannot address new situations," he said.

Shadow of Ukraine war on BRICS

Most of the BRICS countries differ sharply from the position of the US and its Western allies on the Ukriane war. Speaking ahead of the meeting, the South African ambassador, Anil Sooklal, referred to the West's military aid to Ukraine as one of the things that “fuels the conflict.”

“Any endeavour that fuels the conflict does not solve the problem," Sooklal said when asked for his reaction to Western “attempts” to transfer weapons to Ukraine.

“We do not know of any global conflict that has been solved though war,” he said. “All it does is cause more pain and suffering and, as BRICS countries, this is what we are saying: Let's focus on finding a peaceful resolution to the challenges, rather than fuelling the conflict.”

What is BRICS?

The BRICS bloc is made of up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The meeting of foreign ministers Thursday is a precursor to a larger BRICS summit scheduled for August in Johannesburg.

Putin was invited
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been invited to attend the summer summit, but it's unclear if he will. A visit by the Russian leader would put huge diplomatic pressure on South Africa. The country is a signatory to the treaty of the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for Putin on allegations of war crimes for the abduction of children from Ukraine.

South Africa has not clearly stated its position on executing the warrant. Rather, the government has said that it is taking legal advice on its options, a move seen by critics as an attempt to find a way out of its clear obligation to arrest Putin as a signatory to the international court's treaty.

Allowing Putin to travel freely for the summit would likely further strain South Africa's relationship with the West following US allegations that South Africa has provided Russia with weapons for its war in Ukraine.
South Africa has denied the allegation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had official talks in at least three African countries on his way to South Africa, and his participation was clearly central to the BRICS talks taking place at a luxury Cape Town hotel that looks out over the South Atlantic Ocean.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, who was expected to attend, sent his deputy instead, South Africa's foreign ministry said, but all the other foreign ministers were present.

The expansion of the BRICS bloc, and with it a possible strengthening of Russian and Chinese political and economic influence, is also a key topic for discussion, both at the meeting of the foreign ministers and the main BRICS summit in August.

Sooklal said that more than 20 countries had “formally or informally” requested to join the BRICS bloc, among them Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, who had submitted official requests.” 

(With AP inputs)

Also read- US accuses Chinese fighter jet of ‘aggressive’ action near its plane in South China sea; Beijing responds

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