India PM Modi to travel to South Africa for BRICS summit

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Johannesburg to attend a summit of the BRICS group of nations this month, the Indian government said on Thursday.

BRICS’ current five members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are due to convene there on Aug. 22-24.

China and Russia are keen to discuss expansion of the organisation which aims to offset the perceived hegemony of the U.S.-led West in global affairs. India has reservations about accepting more members.

Modi spoke with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa by phone earlier on Thursday, India’s government said.

South Africa’s president said he was interested in visiting India for the G20 summit later this year, according to the statement.

India holds the presidency of the G20 grouping and will host a summit of its leaders in early September.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta; Editing by Andrew Heavens)