Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey May Join BRICS ‘Very Soon’, Forum Chair Anand Says
06:30 GMT 14.07.2022 (Updated: 13:33 GMT 06.08.2022)
In June, the Islamic Republic of Iran applied to join BRICS, the group of five industrialized non-European nations, after being invited to its 14th summit in Beijing, China. If Iran joined BRICS that would result in “added values” for all parties, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh emphasized, according to Tasnim News Agency.
BRICS International Forum President Purnima Anand has said that Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia could "very soon" join the group of major emerging economies
, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, according to Russian national newspaper, Izvestia.
Anand said that China, Russia and India had discussed this issue at the 14th BRICS Summit, which took place virtually from 23 to 24 June.
“All these countries have shown an interest in joining and are preparing to apply for membership. I think this is a good step, because expansion is always perceived positively; this will clearly increase the influence of BRICS in the world… I hope that the accession of countries to BRICS will happen very quickly, because now all representatives of the core of the association are interested in enlargement. So it will be very soon,” Purnima Anand stated.
The President of the BRICS International Forum was said to be confident that Turkey's, Egypt's and Saudi Arabia's accession would advance quickly, since these countries have already “begun the process." However, she was reported as adding that they would not all join at the same time.
Anand’s statement are in line with remarks made earlier by the head of the Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Li Kexin, regarding the -possible expansion of BRICS.
"There are several countries currently 'at the door' - for example, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina," Li Kexin said at a press conference after the 14th BRICS summit in Beijing.
The BRICS countries agree that the bloc needs new members while retaining its original character, he added.
"I believe there is a shared understanding that we need to enlarge, get 'new faces'," Li said.
However, he emphasized that the goal of BRICS expansion is “not to create a new bloc".
The South African ambassador to China, Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele, who spoke alongside Li, insisted that BRICS is about partnership rather than "big muscle".
Argentina's Ambassador to China, Sabino Vaca Narvaja, was earlier cited by the Global Times as saying that "the BRICS cooperation mechanism is of great significance for the building of a new, more multipolar and balanced world."
"We are interested in joining BRICS because it is a cooperative mechanism composed entirely of emerging economies. There are no strings attached and all cooperation is mutually beneficial," Vaca said.
In late June, the BRICS group of nations agreed at their 14th summit in Beijing, China, to take joint measures to strengthen and reform global governance, and safeguard international peace and security.
China is presently chairman of BRICS, and South Africa will take the rotating chairmanship next year.
Beijing invited leaders of 13 other developing nations to attend, including Iran and Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand.
Speaking at the start of the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the world to “reject hegemony, bullying and division.”
Ahead of the gathering, Iran announced its intention
to join BRICS, pointing to the the Islamic Republic's "unique geographical position and its capabilities in the fields of energy, transit, and trade" and capacity to become a "golden route to connect" East and West.
“If Iran and other powerful countries join the grouping, it can be even stronger and challenge western policies,” Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) added.