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Remarks by External Affairs Minister at the BRICS Press Conference

June 04, 2018

At the onset, let me express my sincere thanks to South Africa and Minister Sisulu for hosting this meeting in this beautiful city of Pretoria. It is a privilege to be in the land of Madiba in 2018 when we celebrate his 100th birth anniversary. I also feel privileged to attend the meeting in the building named after Oliver Tambo, the foremost Diplomat of our times.

I thank President of South Africa for sparing his time to meet all the BRICS Foreign Ministers. I also discussed India-South Africa bilateral relations with him. We have had a very successful meeting today under the able chairmanship of Minister Sisulu. India attaches great importance to its engagement with BRICS. We are all part of one global family.

BRICS brings together almost 42 percent of global population, with impressive growth, investment and trade share. BRICS meetings are keenly watched world over and our decisions have profound impact globally. In today’s meeting we exchanged views on current issues of global significance in political, security, and economic spheres.

We also used to occasion to discuss ways and means to further strengthen intra-BRICS cooperation. There exists considerable potential for BRICS to take our cooperation to an even higher level. We appreciate initiatives being undertaken during South Africa’s Chairmanship. We are supportive to the theme and priorities listed by South Africa for 2018.

Health & vaccines, Youth, Peacekeeping, Industrial Revolution, Tourism, Women issues and Science Technology & Innovation introduced by South Africa find positive resonance within BRICS.

India attaches great importance to placing people at the heart of BRICS process. I am happy to inform that in India there is a great interest among general public, academia, business as well as political spheres in BRICS. I am sure my colleagues here share the sentiment.

I feel very encouraged to see the response BRICS cooperation generates in South Africa. It is the collective affection and support by our peoples that will make BRICS bonding even stronger. In our meeting today, we discussed the need to further strengthen our cooperation in the areas of security and countering-terrorism.

You are all aware of strong statement on Counter Terrorism which emerged from BRICS Summit in Xiamen. I am sure the deliberations we have had in today’s meeting will be further taken forward in the forthcoming BRICS Leaders’ Summit in Johannesburg next month.

We are fully committed to contributing towards a successful Johannesburg BRICS Summit, which Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is keenly looking forward to.

I once again thank Minister Sisulu for successful organisation of the BRICS meeting. Thank you.

Disclaimer: EAM’s remarks were delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of her remarks.
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