Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg are being finalised, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Monday but did not give a direct reply on the possibility of a meeting between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Prime Minister Modi is leaving for the South African city on Tuesday on a three-day visit to attend the first in-person summit of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) since the COVID-19 pandemic. Asked at a media briefing whether Modi and Xi will hold talks on the sidelines of the summit, Foreign Secretary Kwatra said that the schedule of the prime minister’s bilateral meetings is being finalised.

Ahead of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, India on Monday said it has a “positive intent” and an “open mind” for the expansion of the five-nation grouping. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting the South African city from August 22 to 24 to attend the 15th BRICS summit at the invitation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. It will be the first in-person summit of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) since 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already decided not to travel to Johannesburg for the summit.(The Hindu)