Although the May 16 election results will decide as to who will be the next Indian Prime Minister, the first multilateral summit-level talks for the new Indian premier will be the Sixth BRICS Summit in Rio de Janeiro -- two days after the Football World Cup finals on July 13.
South Block sources told HT that rather than wait for the new PM to agree to participate in the Brazil summit, the PMO in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has given in-principle approval to take part in the dialogue.
This may just turn out to be the first meeting between the new Indian PM and Chinese President, Xi Jinping. Apart from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the heads of state from host country Brazil and South Africa will also participate in the July 15-17 summit talks.
The decision to participate in the BRICS summit in Brazil was taken after considerable discussion within the PMO and the MEA. While the PMO was clear that India needs to engage with these countries on its own terms, there was a view within the MEA that the decision of participation in the BRICS summit should be left to the new PM.
Senior MEA officials felt that there was no need for hurried decision making as apart from Russia, there has been hardly any bilateral reciprocation from other countries. “The view was China was using the BRICS platform for showcasing its newly-acquired economic and military might.
The Chinese idea of a BRICS bank was designed to create an alternative to World Bank and IMF in the West.
Brazil has had bilateral engagement with China and Russia but is still to extend the same cooperation to India,” said a senior MEA official.