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Russia to participate in BRICS discussion over Islamic radicalism

March 19, 2013, 17:23 UTC+3

The situation in Afghanistan and Iranian nuclear program issues will also be on the agenda

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MOSCOW, March 19 (Itar-Tass) – Russia will take an active part in the discussion over problems of Islamic radicalism at the BRICS summit in South Africa, presidential representative for Africa, chairman of the committee for international affairs under the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament Mikhail Margelov told reporters on Tuesday.

"Islamic radicalism problems will be discussed at the summit, and Russia will not stay away from this discussion," Margelov said.

"Russia takes a serious view the African Union's actions to strengthen security, which should get the broadest international support," Margelov noted, "nobody but African states can cope with these problems. We proceed from the standpoint that it is necessary to help the African Union and provide comprehensive support."

In his view, Islamic radicalism manifests itself not only in the sub-Sahara Africa; all countries on the African continent encounter these problems. Margelov referred to the Islamic movement against Christian churches in Nigeria and religious clashes in Kenya.

Cooperation with BRICS enables African countries to expand their political and economic participation in international life. This cooperation is based on partnership. "None of the BRICS members is stained with colonial past. BRICS is not interfering in Africa’s internal affairs; it does not enforce democracy or values by means of military corps and bombings.

Margelov said Russia would present a concept of its participation in the BRICS group.

The program of /Russian President Vladimir/ Putin's participation in the BRICS summit has already been announced in Durban. "The work on the program is continuing. It's premature to talk about details," Margelov said.

Commenting on the themes to be discussed during the summit, Margelov noted that "the Syrian issue" would be considered. "There will be a discussion. For the BRICS states, the scenarios of interference in Syria's internal affairs are absolutely inadmissible. The general vector of discussion will be based upon the principle that only the Syrians can resolve their problems, and that international community members can only help."

The upcoming summit will promote the idea to set up an international BRICS bank, but the issue is unlikely to be finalized this time.

The situation in Afghanistan and Iranian nuclear program issues will also be on the agenda, Margelov added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit South Africa on March 26. He will attend the 5th BRICS summit in Durban on March 26-27, the Kremlin press service said.

The first summit of the organization was held in Yekaterinburg in 2009 at Russia's initiate.

"During the upcoming meeting, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will discuss the key problems of the world economy, international and regional security, and the ways to reform the global governance system. Special attention will be paid to the opportunities to develop economic cooperation between BRICS partners," the Kremlin said.

The BRICS leaders will meet with officials from the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, and sub regional integration associations operating on the continent.

The BRICS leaders are expected to launch a BRICS Business Council, the Kremlin press service said. The idea to create this mechanism was tabled by Russia during the meeting of the BRICS leaders in the town of Sanya, China, in 2011.

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