Taliban takeover in Afghanistan to figure at BRICS meet chaired by PM Modi
The situation in Afghanistan is expected to be among the key regional and global issues that will be discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs the 13th Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) Summit on September 9.
The summit will be held in a virtual format because of the Covid-19 pandemic and will be joined by Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The theme for the summit is ‘Brics@15: Intra-Brics cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’.
India has highlighted four priority areas for its presidency of the grouping – reform of the multilateral system, counter-terrorism, using digital and technological tools for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and enhancing people-to-people exchanges.
“In addition to these areas, the leaders will also exchange views on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other current global and regional issues,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
People familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity that the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country is expected to be a key part of the discussions.
Russia and China are among the very few countries that are currently engaging the Taliban and they have also kept their missions in Kabul open at a time when most nations have pulled their diplomats out of Afghanistan because of security concerns.
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, New Development Bank president Marcos Troyjo, Brics Business Council pro tempore chair Onkar Kanwar and Brics Women’s Business Alliance pro tempore chair Sangita Reddy will present reports on outcomes pursued this year under their respective tracks to the leaders during the summit.
A meeting of the national security advisers of the Brics grouping reviewed the regional and global political and security scenario, especially developments in Afghanistan, Iran and West Asia, during a virtual meeting on August 24.
The meeting, chaired by Ajit Doval, also adopted an action plan to combat terrorism and its financing for consideration by the Brics Summit. The Indian side also raised the issue of cross-border terror and activities of groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, which enjoy state support and threaten peace and security, at the meeting of the NSAs.
This will the second time that Modi will chair the Brics Summit. He chaired the Goa summit in 2016. The Indian chairship of Brics this year coincides with the 15th anniversary of the grouping.