South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and PM Narendra Modi (File photo | PTI)
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and PM Narendra Modi (File photo | PTI)

PM Modi puts speculation to rest, says will visit Johannesburg for BRICS Summit

The South African President conveyed his support to India’s initiatives as part of its ongoing G20 Presidency and said that he looked forward to visiting India and attending the G20 Summit.

NEW DELHI: Putting all speculation to rest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he would be taking part in the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg later this month (August 22-24).

PM Modi and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke over the telephone late on Thursday night following which the former confirmed his participation in the summit. President Ramaphosa briefed PM Modi on the preparations for the summit.

"Pleased to speak with President Ramaphosa. We reviewed our progress in bilateral cooperation as we celebrate 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. I look forward to participating in the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg later this month," said PM Modi, after speaking with President Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa, during his telephonic conversation with PM Modi, also exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The South African President also conveyed his support to India’s initiatives as part of its ongoing G20 Presidency and said that he looked forward to visiting India and attending the G20 Summit in September. The two leaders agreed to remain in touch.

Speculation on whether PM Modi would attend the BRICS Summit in person had emerged after Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that he would attend the summit virtually. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be attending the summit in person.

"Since the summit is in the hybrid mode, there were chances of PM Modi considering attending this virtually. However, once the narrative of PM Modi attending this virtually built up, there was speculation on whether this would lead to China dominating the summit and also on whether the South African President would attend the G20 Summit in Delhi specially after PM Modi’s pitch for including the African Union in G20. All this coupled with President Ramaphosa’s telephonic conversation with PM Modi on Thursday translated into the confirmation on PM Modi visiting Johannesburg," said a source.

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