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Modi skips BRICS-Plus meet on Israel-Hamas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India did not participate in the virtual BRICS-Plus joint meeting on the Middle East situation in Gaza, a move that set him apart from other BRICS leaders. The meeting, attended by leaders such as Putin, Xi Jinping, Lula da Silva, and Ramaphosa, addressed the crisis in Gaza and featured key figures like UN General-Secretary António Guterres.

Indian Representation

  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar represented India at the meeting, emphasizing India’s stance on terrorism.
  • However, Modi’s absence raised eyebrows, with sources citing his engagement on the campaign trail as the reason for not joining the virtual discussion.

Calls for Ceasefire

  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Chinese President Xi Jinping both called for an immediate ceasefire, condemning what they termed as Israel’s “collective punishment of Palestinian civilians.”
  • The leaders urged an end to hostilities and highlighted the severity of the situation.

India’s Position

  • Jaishankar, speaking on behalf of India, emphasized a strong stance against terrorism and condemned hostage-taking.
  • This statement aligns with India’s refusal to support a UNGA resolution in October that called for a ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza. India was the sole BRICS member to abstain from the resolution, introduced by Jordan.

Modi’s Priorities

  • Government sources clarified that Modi’s absence from the meeting was due to his commitment to the ongoing election campaign.
  • The Prime Minister’s focus on domestic issues took precedence over the virtual BRICS-Plus gathering.

Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit

  • Jaishankar’s remarks at the BRICS-Plus meeting come ahead of India hosting the virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit.
  • The context of the Middle East crisis is likely to influence discussions at this international summit.

India’s Unique Stand

  • India’s abstention from the UNGA resolution and its distinct approach to the Middle East crisis set it apart within the BRICS group.
  • As the only member to take this position, India’s diplomatic stance on the matter stands out.

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