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Modi to attend BRICS meet; India to take up UNSC reforms

New Delhi: In his first participation in a global meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the sixth summit of BRICS countries in Brazil July 14-16 where reforms of the UN Security Council and issues like the BRICS development bank and climate change are likely to be taken up.

nmPrime Minister of India Narendra Modi. File Pic 

Also read: Narendra Modi may meet Merkel on way to BRICS summit 

It will also be his first meeting as PM with top leaders of BRICS countries that also include Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa. The sixth BRICS summit will take place in the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza and Brasilia. Briefing reporters Sunday about the visit, Sujata Mehta, secretary, economic relations who is the prime minister's "sherpa" for the meeting, said the BRICS summit has a vast symbolic significance and "has its own message".

Dinkar Khullar, secretary (West) in external affairs ministry who looks after Latin America and ministry's spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin were also present at the briefing. The prime minister will have bilateral meetings during his visit and also meet leaders of other South American countries along with other BRICS leaders. The leaders of Argentina, Chile, Columbia and Peru have been invited by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to meet the BRICS leaders.

Modi, who is expected to leave for Brazil July 13, is likely to embark on his return journey July 16, officials said. Answering queries about the summit, Mehta said India will pursue the issue of UN Security Council reforms "in discussions in whatever form". She said the issues relating to climate change, BRICS development bank and export credit guarantees were expected to come up for discussion. The proposed bank will provide concessional credit to members and other developing countries.

Mehta will take part in negotiations ahead of the summit concerning the declaration. Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Rousseff during which issues related to trade, investment, health, environment, science and technology will be discussed. Asked about a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Akbaruddin said the schedule was being worked out. "There will be bilateral meeting with other BRICS leaders," he said.

Khullar said the bilateral meeting with Brazil reflects the importance that India attaches to relations with the south American country. He said the meeting with leaders of south American countries will further strengthen India's relations with them. Answering a query about the prime minister's itinerary, he said the prime minister was more concerned about "substance than form". Modi is also expected to have meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma.

The summit will inaugurate the second cycle of BRICS as each member country has hosted one meeting so far. While the meeting at Fortaleza will have discussions between leaders about the potential of BRICS, the working session between leaders of BRICS and the heads of government of south America will be held at Brasilia July 16. As part of BRICS summit, meetings of business forums, trade ministers and business council would be held July 14. The first summit meeting of BRICS was held 2009. The countries together account for more than 40 percent of the world's population.

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