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Prime Minister Narendra Modi Called For A Transparent Investigation At Last Week's BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a transparent investigation at the BRICS summit last week. India and China avoided a public clash over the origins of the COVID19 virus at last week's BRICS summit, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened forcefully in favor of a "transparent investigation" into the origin of the pandemic, a topic in China is sensitive. The two leaders will meet again almost this week, within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit hosted by Tajikistan, the MEA announced on September 15, and Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Nghi will visit both in Dushanbe on September 16 for the conference, Tensions over the virus debate only add to the 17-month stalemate between India and China over the de facto line of control. "There needs to be a transparent investigation into the origins of the virus within the framework of the World Health Organization and this must receive the full cooperation of all countries," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement. keynote speech at the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa summit hosted by India and held virtual on September 9.

Modi said, in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was in person. speaking after Prime Minister Modi, called on BRICS countries to "oppose politicization" of traceability. “We must promote global solidarity against COVID19, join forces to fight the pandemic, defend a scientific approach to tracing its origins, and oppose politicization and discrimination,” he said. In addition, China accused the US government of trying to divert attention from virus research in the US and in a letter to WHO head Tedros Ghebreyesus in August, China's permanent representative States in the United States, with tensions on the issue threatening to spill over into the BRICS arena, diplomats are said to have worked on drafting a joint statement to be issued after the summit, taking into account comments by the two leaders. According to the statement, all BRICS countries note "that collaborating in research into the origins of SARSCoV2 is an important aspect of the fight against the COVID19 pandemic."

MEA officials say that according to protocol, only opening statements by leaders are made public, while remarks on the origins of the virus, which are part of a "closed" session, are to be made public. of the summit, was not made public and expressed "surprise" at the decision of some members such as China and Brazil to make their speeches.

-Sameer Gupta

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