Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a three-day visit to South Africa and later to Greece from 22 August 2023 to attend the 15th BRICS Summit.
In the first leg of his visit, Prime Minister Modi will be in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24 to attend the 15th BRICS Summit 2023 at the invitation of South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.
This will be the first in-person BRICS summit after 2019. The summit, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, will provide an opportunity to review the progress of initiatives undertaken by the grouping and identify areas of future activity.
The Prime Minister will also participate in the special events BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue to be held after the BRICS Summit.
It will also include other countries invited by South Africa. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi will hold bilateral meetings with some of the leaders present in Johannesburg.
PM's visit to Greece:
After his visit to South Africa, the Prime Minister will visit Greece on 25 August. This will be the first visit to Greece by an Indian Prime Minister in 40 years.
Prime Minister Modi will hold talks with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece on ways to further strengthen the relationship.
In recent years, India has started giving special importance to its relations with Greece. One reason behind this is Türkiye's anti-India attitude. Türkiye matches the tone of Pakistan on every international platform.
On the other hand, relations between Türkiye and Greece are not good. In such a situation, India and Greece are coming closer.
Expansion of BRICS as 'BRICS Plus':
This time there is going to be a special meeting of BRICS leaders with African countries. For this South Africa has invited some African countries. While talks are also to be held regarding the expansion of the BRICS organisation. For this, a separate meeting named 'BRICS Plus' has been organised.
India and Greece have historical relations. In recent times, both countries have agreed to enhance cooperation in areas such as maritime transport, defence, trade and investment. The future agenda of bilateral relations will be discussed between Prime Minister Modi and PM Mitsotakis of Greece. India is ready to sell many types of weapons to Greece.
Decision on Iran joining BRICS:
On 18 August 2023, PM Modi had a telephonic conversation with President Ibrahim Raisi of Iran. Many topics related to mutual relations have been discussed between the two leaders. There has also been discussion on increasing the use of Chabahar Port in particular and providing a network of trade to Central Asian countries.
Modi and Raisi will also meet on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting next week. Iran is not a member of BRICS, but a decision may be taken next week on its inclusion as a new member.
BRICS is an acronym for a grouping of the world's five leading emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
BRICS was discussed in a 2001 report by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill on the growth prospects for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
In 2006 the four countries began a regular informal diplomatic coordination with annual meetings of foreign ministers at the end of the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly.
Thereafter it was decided that it should be held as an annual summit at the level of Heads of State and Government.
The first BRIC summit took place in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2009 and discussed issues such as reforming the global financial system.
BRICS countries represent 41% of the global population, 24% of global GDP and 16% of global trade.
It is an integrated platform of only five countries. It is not an international intergovernmental organisation, nor has it been established under any treaty.
Summits of the top leaders of BRICS countries and other ministerial conferences are held annually.
The BRICS Summit is presided over annually by the supreme leader of the member countries in the B-R-I-C-S order.