With a dozen heads of state of African Government attending — the first time a BRICS meeting has involved countries it claims to speak for — the Fifth Summit here decided to further increase engagement with non-BRICS countries especially the emerging and developing ones.

In fact, immediately after the summit, the five BRICS leaders went into a retreat with African leaders where they heard current African Union President and Ethiopian Prime Minister Ato Haile-Mariam Desalegn, AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and chairpersons of all regional economic communities of Africa. All five BRICS leaders also spoke at the retreat with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hoping the BRICS Bank would assist in the transformation of Africa.

With no country inclined towards single-country resolutions, there was no mention of Sri Lanka but a wide swathe of Africa, Palestine, Iran and Syria were mentioned.

Regarding the use of Internet, the BRICS countries, some of whom have been assailed for restricting access to cyberspace, laid down a middle path. The Declaration simply said the five countries believed they should contribute to a peaceful, secure and open cyberspace.

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