Iran and Argentina have applied to join the BRICS mechanism, the Russian state media reported, days after a summit of the five-nation bloc during which the leaders agreed to continue to discuss the possibility of admitting new countries to the grouping on the basis of "full consultation and consensus."
Argentina and Iran have applied for joining BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by the state-run Tass news agency.
It reported that Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that Tehran has applied for BRICS membership.
Tehran filed the application for accession to the BRICS, he said.
The diplomat expressed hope that "Iran will be able to contribute to the BRICS' operation and benefit the organisation."
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said at a BRICS+ meeting last week that his country wants to become a full member of the association, the Tass report said.
Ahead of the summit, Saudi Arabia too expressed interest to join the grouping, according to reports.
The issue of expansion of the BRICS bloc was figured in the June 23 virtual summit hosted by China, which is this year's chair.
The declaration issued at the end of the summit said the leaders will continue to discuss the possibility of admitting new countries to the five-nation grouping on the basis of "full consultation and consensus."
Asked for his reaction at a media briefing here on Tuesday about Iran and Argentina applying to join BRICS, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said many countries have expressed their interest to join the five-member bloc of emerging markets.
"BRICS countries agreed that it is important to step up cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries to improve the representativeness of the BRICS mechanism and make it loudly heard on major international issues so that we can better rise up to challenges and uphold the interests of emerging markets and developing counties," Zhao said.
"We have noted that many countries including Iran and Argentina have expressed their willingness to join the BRICS family. As the chair of the BRICS this year China actively supports BRICS countries to start the membership expansion process to expand BRICS Plus cooperation," he said.
Zhao said that at the 14th summit held on June 23 the BRICS leader made a unanimous voice on the expansion of the BRICS mechanism and they supported discussion, standards and procedure for the expansion.
"China will work with BRICS partners to move ahead with the expansion process steadily so that like-minded partners can join the BRICS family," he said.
"We shall continue to set clear priorities in our wide-ranging cooperation, on the basis of consensus, and make our strategic partnership more efficient, practical and results-oriented," the declaration said.
"We support promoting discussions among BRICS members on BRICS expansion process. We stress the need to clarify the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures for this expansion process through Sherpas' channel on the basis of full consultation and consensus," it said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)