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France says Macron hopes to attend BRICS summit

Macron says IS branch behind Russia attack, also targeted France
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French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to attend a BRICS summit scheduled for August, his foreign minister said Tuesday, a meeting to which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has been invited.

Foreign minister Catherine Colonna said she had informed summit hosts South Africa Pretoria of Macron’s “interest” in attending as an observer at the summit of a bloc which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“I informed my counterpart… of the President’s availability and interest in pursuing dialogue that France maintains with the BRICS,” Colonna said in response to a journalist’s question during a visit to South Africa.

It is not common for other foreign leaders to attend the bloc’s meetings.

Macron’s summit attendance “if it were to happen would be an innovation to the model of BRICS participation that we’ve had up to this time,” said South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on Monday, adding that the decision on who gets invited lies with President Cyril Ramaphosa who is the current BRICS chairman.

Colonna said that such an invitation would have to be “in full respect of international law”, in reference to the possible attendance of Putin.

The Russian leader has been invited to summit of the group that was created as a counterbalance to a western dominated international order.

Putin is wanted by the International Criminal Court over accusations that Russia unlawfully deported Ukrainian children.

A member of the ICC, South Africa would be expected to arrest him if he sets foot in the country.

The arrest warrant is a problem for Pretoria, which has been close to the Kremlin since the anti-apartheid struggle years.

South Africa has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it is impartial and prefers dialogue.

Ramaphosa led a group of African leaders Ukraine and Russia to try broker peace.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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