Focus on multifaceted cooperation as BRICS Foreign Ministers meet in Russia

The two-day BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting began in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod. — IANS

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) The two-day BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting began in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod on Monday with the Indian delegation being led by Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations), at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Taking place immediately after the formation of the third Modi government in New Delhi, this would also be the first meeting of BRICS Foreign Ministers since the expansion of the group was formalised in January with the inclusion of new full members: Egypt, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chaired the first session on Monday which also saw the participation of South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauro Vieira, Chinese

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Iran’s acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shokri and several other distinguished guests.

While Monday’s event is the traditional stand-alone gathering of Foreign Ministers from the association, an expanded meeting will take place on Tuesday with the participation of 15 countries invited by Russia.

The extended session will see the participation of the heads of foreign policy departments of various countries representing regional interaction formats, such as the SCO, ASEAN, the Association for Regional Cooperation of the Indian Ocean Coastal Countries, the African Union, the League of Arab States and others.

The meetings are expected to discuss current geopolitical issues and improving the global governance system with an emphasis on increasing the role of developing countries. The outcomes of the meeting will feed into the 16th BRICS Summit scheduled to take place in Kazan in October.

Several bilateral meetings are also taking place on the sidelines of the two-day event.

“The prospects for multifaceted cooperation in the year of the Russian Federation’s chairmanship of BRICS in three main areas will be considered: politics and security, economics and finance, and humanitarian ties,” stated the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

It added that the development of modalities for a new category of “partner states” of the association in preparation for the summit in Kazan this October will also be discussed during the meeting.

Moscow also detailed that it is aiming to increase the role of the member states in the international monetary and financial system, developing interbank cooperation, promoting the transformation of the system of international payments and expanding the use of national currencies of the BRICS states in mutual trade, during its ongoing BRICS presidency.

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