Manmohan Singh leaves for 5th BRICS Summit in Durban

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left Monday morning for the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban to join over the next two days the other leaders of the bloc that comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Besides the BRICs leaders, notably China’s newly-elected President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Manmohan Singh is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with some African leaders on the margins of the summit.
The prime minister is accompanied by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, besides senior officials.
India hosted the 4th edition of the BRICS Summit last year and the prime minister is to now hand over the chair to the summit’s next hosts South Africa, led by President Jacob Zuma. He is also scheduled to call on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
The BRICS commands over 25 percent of the world’s geographical area, 43 percent of the world’s population and a fifth of global gross domestic product.
The prime minister returns late Thursday.