Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey want to join the BRICS, Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum said, Izvestia reports.
The decision was discussed by Russia, China and India during the 14th BRICS Summit, she added.
"All of these countries have shown their interest in joining and are preparing to apply for membership. I think this is a good step, since expansion is always perceived positively, this will clearly increase the influence of the BRICS around the world," Purnima Anand said in a statement.
The process to accept new members should not take long, Anand said, as the countries are already in the process of joining the group. However, the states will enter the BRICS gradually, one by one. Discussions on Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey can be expected at the next summit in South Africa in 2023.
A high-ranking source told the publication that Saudi Arabia's membership was reviewed during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Riyadh on June 1-2. Moscow supported the government's initiative. A diplomatic solution is currently being sought.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the leadership of the BRICS countries was in demand to build the multipolar world. One may also count on the assistance of African, Asian and Latin American countries that pursue an independent policy, he added.
Pavel Knyazev, Russia's sous-sherpa at BRICS, confirmed that it was decided to start discussing the expansion of the group.
"At the last summit, a decision was made to start discussing modalities, principles and criteria for the expansion process. Once consensus is reached on these issues, all members of the five will have to decide when to start discussing potential candidates," Knyazev said. Moscow welcomes the interest of all states in joining the BRICS, he added.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the process to prepare for the expansion of the BRICS association had been launched.
"Of course, both Argentina and Iran are worthy and respected candidates, just like a number of other countries that appear in discussions,” Lavrov said.
On June 27, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that the authorities of the republic had applied for BRICS membership. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that Iran and Argentina intend to become members of the group.
BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on world affairs. Since 2009, the governments of the BRICS states have met annually at formal summits.
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