BRICS rejoices at India’s successful moon landing

BRICS rejoices at India’s successful moon landing

‘We join you in joy of this great achievement,’ South African President Ramaphosa tells Indian Prime Minister Modi

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said India’s historic and successful landing of its spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 on the moon is a momentous occasion for the BRICS family.

“We would like to congratulate India particularly as you speak about the need for cooperation in space. In a few hours, India’s spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 will be landing on the moon. We congratulate you,” Ramaphosa said in a BRICS plenary session on Wednesday morning before the spacecraft landed.

“This for us, as a BRICS family, is a momentous occasion and we rejoice with you. We join you in the joy of this great achievement,” Ramaphosa told Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thanked him for proposing that there should be a BRICS space cooperation system.

India on Wednesday created history as its moon mission Chandrayaan-3 conducted a successful landing, thus becoming the first country to have landed on the lunar South Pole.

“We have achieved the soft landing on the moon. India is on the moon,” chief of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Sreedhara Panicker Somanath told Modi, who joined the event virtually.

India has now joined a list of handful countries – the US, Russia, and China – who have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon.

BRICS is a bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Its leaders are currently meeting for the bloc’s 15th summit in Johannesburg.

BRICS currently makes up a quarter of the global economy, accounting for a fifth of global trade, and is home to more than 40% of the world’s population.

- South Africa to donate more cheetahs to India

Ramaphosa said his country was willing to donate more cheetahs to India since the South Asian country knows how to look after the big cats well.

Earlier this year, South Africa sent several cheetahs to India to help repopulate the threatened species.

“Should you need more cheetahs, you have come to the home of cheetahs,” Ramaphosa told Modi in a light moment, leading to loud applause from the audience.

- ‘India supports expansion of bloc’

In his presentation, Modi said the last two decades have been a long and magnificent journey for the BRICS bloc, which has made many achievements.

He said the BRICS New Development Bank is playing an important role in the development of the countries of the global south through its contingency reserve arrangements.

He said the bloc brought positive changes in the lives of ordinary citizens in BRICS countries through initiatives such as youth summits, BRICS games, and Think Tank councils.

“We are strengthening people-to-people ties between all member countries,” he added.

Modi also said India fully supports the expansion of the BRICS bloc. More than 20 countries have expressed interest to join the bloc, including oil giants Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.

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