Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday held a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during which they reviewed the progress made in bilateral ties, exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues and also on ways to work jointly to strengthen the voice of the Global South.
PM Modi met President Ramaphosa in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS Summit.
"Both leaders reviewed the progress made in bilateral relations between the two countries and expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved in various fields including defence, agriculture, trade and investment, health, conservation and people-to-people ties," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release.
Mr. Modi and Mr. Ramaphosa also exchanged views on continued coordination in multilateral bodies and regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. Mr. Ramaphosa expressed full support for India’s G20 presidency and appreciated India’s initiative for giving the African Union full membership of G-20, the release said, adding that the president conveyed that he looked forward to visiting New Delhi for the G-20 Summit.
The G-20 Summit will be held in New Delhi from September 8-10. It will be the first-ever G20 summit to be held in India as well as in South Asia.
Mr. Modi congratulated Ramaphosa on the successful hosting of the BRICS Summit and accepted the President's invitation to pay a state visit to South Africa at a mutually convenient date, the release said.
Prime Minister Modi, who is on a three-day visit to South Africa and Greece, reached here on Tuesday at the invitation of President Ramaphosa to attend the 15th BRICS Summit being held under the South African Chairmanship from August 22-24.
"Had an excellent meeting with President @CyrilRamaphosa," Modi tweeted after the meeting held ahead of the BRICS Summit.
"We discussed a wide range of issues aimed at deepening India-South Africa relations. Trade, defence and investment linkages featured prominently in our discussions. We will keep working together to strengthen the voice of the Global South as well," he said, sharing some photographs of the meeting.
The Global South is generally seen as home to Brazil, India, Indonesia and China, which, along with Nigeria and Mexico, are the largest Southern states in terms of land area and population.
"BRICS has been pursuing a strong cooperation agenda across various sectors. We value that BRICS has become a platform for discussing and deliberating on issues of concern for the entire Global South, including development imperatives and reform of the multilateral system," Mr. Modi said in New Delhi before his departure for Johannesburg.
The Summit, he said, will provide a useful opportunity for BRICS to identify future areas of cooperation and review institutional development.
This is the first in-person BRICS Summit after three consecutive years of virtual meetings because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Tuesday, Modi attended the Leaders' Retreat along with his counterparts from China, South Africa and Brazil.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not travelled to Johannesburg for the annual summit of the BRICS nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
"The Retreat which took place in closed format, was an opportunity for the leaders to discuss global developments and ways for leveraging the BRICS platform to find solutions to global challenges," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release.
During his stay in Johannesburg, Modi will also participate in BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue events that will be held as part of the BRICS Summit activities.