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Singh was reiterating previous statements that the BRICS bloc believes in peaceful co-existence, and is not looking to challenge any other grouping.
In a letter to South African President Jacob Zuma, the host of the Summit, the Indian PM described Africa as a continent of “change and hope”. This Summit, Singh hopes, will be an opportunity to reaffirm its support for development efforts in Africa. He also underlined India’s support for Africa either bilaterally or through the Africa Forum Summit.
“BRICS is a unique forum of dynamic economies across different continents. Our countries have come together in pursuit of shared interests of developing countries and for the larger global good,” Singh pointed out in his message.
He believes the BRICS nations have convergence of key issues like reform of global financial institutions, the WTO Doha round of trade negotiations, sustainable development and various political and security challenges.
Former Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal described Singh’s remarks that BRICS is not directed against anyone as an attempt to prevent any move by China and Russia to take an anti-Western stand at the forthcoming Summit.
“Manmohan Singh wanted to send this message to President Jacob Zuma so that they are on the same wavelength before the Summit,” Sibal told The BRICS Post.
However, the inherent sense and purpose of the creation of BRICS was to end monopoly and dominance of the West, said the former Indian top diplomat. He said the bloc itself signals the emergence of powers outside the Western sphere.
“These countries have differences with the West over Iran and Syria crises,” says Sibal, who during his time as India’s Foreign Secretary played a key role in shaping creation of BRICS.
Noted foreign affairs analyst and expert on Russian affairs Nirmala Joshi believes that as a useful platform with a good future ahead of it, BRICS will push and change the prevailing economic system in order to provide counter-balance in global affairs.
“China as the rising power may like to play a leadership role in BRICS. This is contextual amid US rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. This also suits Russian interests,” Joshi, formerly with the JawaharlalNehruUniversity, told The BRICS Post.
During his statement, Singh pointed out that the forum has a special responsibility to work for an international trading system, stimulate trade and investment in developing countries, promote broad-based and inclusive development, and support urgent reforms in institutions of global political governance.
The Indian PM also listed key BRICS achievements in his message: “Our initiative relating to the BRICS-led New Development Bank is being examined by our Finance Ministers and technical experts. Technical discussions are also underway on proposals such as swap arrangements among our national currencies and reserve pooling arrangements.”
Singh also underscored the need to strengthen cooperation among BRICS countries under three pillars of “Consultation, Coordination and Cooperation”.
Anjan Roy for The BRICS Post