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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  PM Modi speaks with Iranian President Raisi, discusses expansion of BRICS
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PM Modi speaks with Iranian President Raisi, discusses expansion of BRICS

The conversation between the two leaders comes as the BRICS Summit is about to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, next week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting via video conference, in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting via video conference, in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi of Iran today. According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the two discussed important regional and bilateral matters.

“Prime Minister highlighted that India- Iran relationship is underpinned by close historic and civilizational connections, including strong people to people contacts. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to further strengthen bilateral cooperation including to realize the full potential of Chabahar Port as a connectivity hub," reads a press release by the MEA," reads a press release from the MEA.

“The two leaders also discussed cooperation at multilateral forums including expansion of BRICS and looked forward to their meeting on the margins of forthcoming BRICS summit in South Africa," it goes on to read.

The conversation between the two leaders comes as the BRICS Summit is about to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, next week. On the agenda is the proposed expansion of the BRICS to include a host of new countries, including Iran. According to some reports quoting South African officials, around 40 countries have reportedly expressed an interest in joining BRICS. This list of countries is also said to include Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Kazakhstan, the Comoros and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) among others.

While India has not opposed this move, it has repeatedly stressed that mechanisms to consider and approve applications to expand BRICS have yet to be developed. It is reluctant to steam ahead on expansion, given concerns that China is looking to add to the membership of BRICS to onboard more countries who share its West-skeptic worldview.

“As mandated by the leaders last year, Brics members are internally discussing the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for the Brics expansion process on the basis of full consultation and consensus," said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi earlier in August.

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Published: 18 Aug 2023, 07:22 PM IST
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