BRICS leaders agree on mechanisms for expansion: South Africa

Leaders of the BRICS group of major emerging economies have agreed on the mechanisms to expand the bloc by admitting new members, South Africa’s foreign minister has said.

“We have agreed on the matter of expansion,” Naledi Pandor said on Ubuntu Radio, a station run by South Africa's foreign ministry, according to Reuters.

“We have a document that we've adopted which sets out guidelines and principles, processes for considering countries that wish to become members of BRICS,” he added.

Potential expansion of BRICS tops the agenda of a summit being held in Johannesburg, as leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa discuss how to give the bloc more clout on the world stage more than a decade after it was founded.

While all member countries had publicly voiced their support for enlarging the bloc, differences remain about the extent and pace of expansion.

Pandor said BRICS leaders would make a more detailed announcement on the issue before the summit concludes on Thursday.

Addressing the summit on Wednesday, China's President Xi Jinping called for the acceleration of the BRICS expansion, which he said would help usher in a “more just” global governance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India also said his country fully welcomes moving forward with consensus on accepting new members to the group.

BRICS has a consensus-based decision-making process, meaning all members must agree before new ones are accepted.

More than 40 countries have expressed interest in joining BRICS, which already accounts for a quarter of the global economy. More than half of those have submitted formal applications to join the body, including Iran. 

Russia and China, as key members of BRICS, have welcomed Iran’s application to join the bloc.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is scheduled to make a state visit to South Africa to attend the summit.

News ID 195933

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