India expected to raise terror concerns strongly at Brics Summit
New Delhi: India is expected to raise its concerns over terrorism strongly at the next week’s Brics Summit 2017, hosted by China, which on Thursday said New Delhi’s concerns over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record is not an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the forum.
India also did not rule out a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the Summit on Monday with external affairs ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar saying it is a common practice to arrange bilateral meetings on the sidelines of such multilaterals.
But he refused to divulge details, saying he cannot share timing and other information on bilateral meetings that have already been confirmed including those among Brics leaders or with guest countries invited by China as part of an outreach exercise.
Modi will leave on 3 September to attend the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (Brics) Summit on 4 September in China, from where he will travel to Myanmar on a state visit before returning on 7 September.
While Kumar refused to “preempt” as to what Modi will speak during his intervention at the Summit on Monday in the Chinese city of Xiamen, sources said India is expected to flag its concerns over terrorism strongly.
At the last Brics summit, hosted by India, Modi had described Pakistan as a “mothership” of terrorism world-wide.
The PM had sought decisive global action such as systematically cutting off funding, weapons supply, training and political support to terror outfits and asserted that selective approach to deal with the menace will be not only futile but also counter-productive.
Leaders are free to speak what they want and it is the joint declaration which is prepared on the basis of consensus, Kumar said when asked about China’s view that India’s concerns over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record is not an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the forum.
“Our position on terrorism is very clear. We have raised it at different fora and multilaterals. It is an important issue. “I don’t want to preempt as to what the prime minister will speak during his intervention during the Brics restricted session and in the plenary. Also (I cannot say) how and in what shape it is going to come out in the declaration document,” the spokesperson said.
He also noted that Indian officials, including the joint secretary in charge of China division in the ministry, were in China currently to discuss the joint declaration. Asked if recent Dokalam issue will figure during discussions with other leaders, he said it was “premature” to share at this stage what are the issues which will be discussed among the leaders.
This is the first time the two countries will be interacting at the highest level after the resolution of the Dokalam standoff earlier this week. The Chinese and Indian troops were in a face-off situation since 16 June in Dokalam in Sikkim sector after the Indians stopped construction of a road by China’s army.
On whether the national security advisors of India and China will meet on the sidelines of the Summit, Kumar said he has no information but noted that they had met last month in China.
On India’s view about the expansion of BRICS and China inviting leaders of Egypt, Guinea, Mexico, Tajikistan and Thailand, the spokesperson said it is the right of a host country to invite guests as part of outreach exercise.
Leaders of the five Brics countries and guest countries will discuss the importance of cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries. With a theme of ‘Brics: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future’, the Summit is expected to deliberate on world economic situation, global economic governance, international & regional hotspot issues, national security and development, according to Chinese foreign ministry.
At the plenary session, the leaders will be focusing their discussions on deepening Brics cooperation, people to people exchanges, institutional building and other issues.
At the plenary session, the Brics leaders will adopt the Brics leaders’ Xiamen declaration. The leaders of the five countries will attend the launch ceremony of the Brics Cultural Festival and also the Photo Exhibition.
They will also have a dialogue with the Business Council, which will submit its report on ways to promote and strengthen business, trade and investment ties amongst the business communities of the five Brics countries.