India, China huddle makes headlines, as six new members get green signal to join BRICS

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held  talks on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg on Thursday. According to a video footage of the conference, the two leaders could be seen holding talks while walking towards their assigned seats.

Modi and Xi had met each other on the sidelines of the G20 Bali summit last year as well. However, last month the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that the two leaders had not only exchanged courtesies at the G20 summit in Bali last November, but also talked about the need to stabilize bilateral ties.

India and China have been in a standoff for the past three years and relations at all levels have deteriorated due to tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two sides have so far held 19 rounds of talks to address border issues since 2020, following the Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh.

The BRICS grouping announced on Thursday that six countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – will be inducted as full-time members. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this at the BRICS summit.

Membership will be effective from 1 January 2024.

Speaking to the media in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said that we have a consensus on the first stage of the BRICS expansion process. BRICS currently has five members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed all six countries shortly after Ramaphosa’s announcement and vowed to work with other countries to engage countries that have expressed interest in joining. PM Modi said that I welcome these six countries to BRICS on this occasion… and I congratulate the leaders and people of these countries. India has close, historic ties with each of these countries, and I am confident that we will work together for a new era of cooperation and prosperity.

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