BRICS virtual summit on Israel-Hamas war hosted by SA; Jaishankar to represent India

New Delhi | Updated: 21 November, 2023 12:58 pm IST

NEW DELHI: India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, is set to represent the country at the BRICS virtual summit hosted by South Africa on Tuesday. During the summit, leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa will engage in discussions, including the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will host the “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East Situation in Gaza” with the aim of formulating a unified response to the ongoing conflict lasting over six weeks. The official BRICS handle announced on Monday, “JUST IN: BRICS leaders schedule emergency meeting to discuss Israel & Gaza conflict.”

View The Tweet Here:

Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), slated to become members of the BRICS group in January 2024, are set to be present at the meeting. A statement from the South African presidency confirmed the participation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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Following the virtual summit, all five BRICS heads of state are anticipated to issue a joint statement, with a specific focus on Gaza. Russian President Vladimir Putin, advocating for restraint in the ongoing conflict, is also scheduled to take part in the BRICS meeting.

About The Israel-Hamas War:

Intense conflict erupted in Gaza following an unexpected Hamas assault on Israel on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties and about 240 individuals being taken as hostages.

In response to this, Gaza has witnessed a retaliatory air and ground offensive, leading to an estimated 13,300 fatalities, as reported by officials in the Hamas-controlled territory. South Africa, a longstanding supporter of the Palestinian cause, particularly due to the African National Congress (ANC) party’s association with its own anti-apartheid struggle, declared its intention to back a parliamentary motion for the suspension of diplomatic relations with Israel.

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The ANC’s decision is contingent on Israel agreeing to a ceasefire in Gaza, condemning what it describes as the “genocidal actions of the Israeli regime.” On Friday, South Africa, along with four other nations, advocated for an International Criminal Court investigation into the Israel-Hamas conflict.

China Supports Palestine:

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to participate in the BRICS virtual summit to discuss the Hamas-Israel conflict, as announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday. China, historically sympathetic to the Palestinians and endorsing a two-state solution, has consistently called for an immediate ceasefire since the war’s onset last month.

Additionally, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi convened a meeting with a delegation of Foreign Ministers from Arab and Islamic nations on Monday to address the crisis stemming from the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.

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China is prepared to collaborate with Arab and Islamic nations, persistently striving for a prompt ceasefire in Gaza, alleviation of the humanitarian crisis in the region, the achievement of peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel, and actively contributing to peace and stability in the Middle East. This statement was conveyed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning during a media briefing on Monday.

Russia’s Putin Criticised Israel:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also slated to partake in a virtual BRICS summit on November 21 to address the Israel-Hamas conflict, as confirmed by the Kremlin. Russia, maintaining historical ties with both Israel and the Palestinians, has expressed interest in serving as a mediator. Putin has critiqued the West for escalating tensions and Israel for its actions in the ongoing conflict.

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