Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday emphasised the need for urgency in forging a united global effort to combat terror as he condemned the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people and injured hundreds more.
Addressing a meeting of BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Turkish city of Antalya, he pointed to recent attacks in Ankara and Beirut as “reminders of terror’s growing spread and impact”.
“The entire humanity must stand together as one against terrorism. The need for a united global effort to combat terrorism has never been more urgent. This must also be a priority for BRICS nations,” Modi said.
“We stand united in strongly condemning the dreadful acts of terrorism in Paris. We express our deepest sympathy and support to Russia for the loss of life in Sinai,” he said.
Modi was referring to the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt last month, killing all 224 people on board. Militants linked to the Islamic State claimed they brought the plane down and the US and Britain have said the aircraft may have been bombed.
The leaders of BRICS nations, who met before the G20 summit, were scheduled to discuss development issues related to the grouping but the session shifted its focus to terrorism, climate change and migration because of the Paris attacks and the upcoming COP21 summit.
New Delhi, he said, attaches the “highest importance” to the BRICS and wants to build on the work done by other members of the grouping.
India will take over the chairmanship of BRICS from February 2016, and Modi said “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions” will be the theme of the country’s chairmanship. “It aptly describes the ethos of our group,” he said.
Though others had questioned the logic of BRICS and its lasting capacity, the grouping had provided proof of its relevance and through its actions, he remarked.
“The new development bank, the currency reserve arrangement, strategy for BRICS economic cooperation – these are clear evidence of our vision and our resolve. Together, we can also give shape to G20,” Modi said.
“We are pleased that a BRICS partner, China, takes over the presidency of G20 in December 2015. We assure China of full support during its presidency.”
The BRICS meet was also attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma.
The G20 summit is scheduled for later on Sunday in Belek and will be chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The summit will focus on the current state of the global economy, sustainable growth, development and climate change, investment, trade and energy. Participating leaders are also expected to discuss political issues such as terrorism and the refugee crisis in addition to the economic agenda.
Following the Paris attacks, the town of Belek has been declared a high-security Red Zone and a virtual no-go area for non-delegates. In a separate incident, four policemen were injured in an explosion during a raid on a suspected hideout of Islamic State militants in Ankara on Sunday.
Markets and shops around the G20 venue have been shut and thousands of barricades and security personnel have been deployed on roads leading to the venue.
Officials said more than 350 mobile cameras with license-plate recording and face-recognition systems have been installed on the highway from Antalya airport to the seaside enclave and around the hotels where world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Putin, are staying.