BRICS leaders likely to discuss Libya

Manmohan Singh
Beijing, Apr 1: Matters of international importance, including the crisis in Libya, and a range of financial and development issues are likely to come up for discussion when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders of the BRICS group of nations hold a summit meeting in the Chinese city of Sanya this month.

The April 14 summit meeting will see the participation of South African President Jacob Zuma for the first time after the country was formally admitted to the group of major developing countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Chinese President Hu Jintao will chair the summit meetings to be attended among others by Prime Minister Singh, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in a statement.

Besides Singh and Hu, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and South African President Zuma, would attend the meeting being hosted at Sanya in Hainan province, Jiang said.

According to officials here, Singh will have bilateral meetings with Hu and other BRICS leaders.

The Prime Minister would be accompanied among others by Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

The BRICS leaders will have in-depth exchanges of views on the international situation, economic, financial and development issues and outline their future cooperation, Jiang said.

Ahead of the meeting, official think tanks of all the five countries held a meeting here to evolve a broader character to the new grouping, which so far focussed more on economic issues as all them were considered to be at the same stages of economic development.

The Libyan situation is also expected to figure during the talks as China, Russia and India have held similar positions on the country.

The three countries abstained from voting at the UN Security Council that allowed international strikes to impose a no-fly zone on Libya. South Africa, however, voted for it.

Both China and India have in recent days called for a ceasefire to end the fighting.

Chinese officials, however, said there was no coordinated approach among BRICS members at the UNSC.

While China and Russia are permanent members, India, Brazil and South Africa are non-permanent members.

Outlining China's thinking on the emergence of BRICS, officials of China Institute of International studies (CIIS), a think-tank of Chinese Foreign Ministry said the focus of BRICS at present is to broadly focus on larger issues relating to international governance.


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