South Africa Now Looking to China to Host BRICS Summit, Say Officials

South African Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor meeting with Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Cape Town on June 1, 2020. #BRICSza #BilateralRelations #SAIndiaRelations 🇿🇦🇮🇳 Picture byline: @hci_pretoria

South African official sources have confirmed that Pretoria is considering moving the BRICS summit to China to avoid acting on the ICC's warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin. BRICS foreign ministers were mum on the idea.

South Africa is exploring the possibility of moving the BRICS summit in August to China to avoid the legal dilemma it faces of having to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he visits South Africa, officials say.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was contemptuous about this idea when asked about it after a meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Cape Town on Thursday.

He said somewhat contradictorily that the idea had been reported in a "British tabloid and I don't read British newspapers" -- apparently a reference to the Daily Telegraph. South Africa's international relations minister, Naledi Pandor, said the issue of Putin's possible attendance at the summit had not been discussed by the foreign ministers.

However, South African official sources confirmed that Pretoria was in fact seriously considering moving the summit to China -- with a second option to hold the summit virtually -- for all the five presidents of the bloc, which also includes China, India and Brazil.

Pretoria is trying to resolve the dilemma of hosting Putin while also, as a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), having to arrest him as the ICC has issued a warrant for his arrest for war crimes...

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