Modi, Xi smile, shake hands, discuss issues at BRICS meeting

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Hamburg, July 7 (IANS) In the wake of an army face-off and chill in ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping here on Friday, and discussed “a range of issues” that possibly included their three-week-old border row.

The two leaders came face to face for the first time after their armies were involved in a face-off in the Doklam area in the Sikkim sector, that has heightened tensions between the two countries, including war-mongering by the Chinese media.

After the Chinese said on Thursday that a bilateral meeting between the two is unlikely because the “atmosphere” was not good, the two leaders shook hands warmly, smiled and then held informal discussions on Friday at a BRICS leaders meeting.

“At BRICS leaders’ informal gathering @Hamburg hosted by China, PM @narendramodi and President Xi had a conversation on a range of issues,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted, without giving details of what they discussed.

At the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) leaders’ meeting, Modi and Xi also complimented each other’s nation’s roles in furthering the objectives of the grouping and the fight against terrorism.

The two leaders last met in Kazakhstan capital Astana last month during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

Addressing the meeting, Modi appreciated the momentum in BRICS under the chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Summit at Xiamen in China in September this year.

Concluding the meeting immediately after Modi’s remarks, President Xi appreciated India’s strong resolve against terrorism and the momentum in BRICS introduced under India’s chairmanship and through the outcomes of the Goa Summit in 2016.

He also appreciated India’s success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success.

–IANS

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