India welcomes Egypt Iran UAE Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia joining BRICS

    Moscow, Jun 10 (PTI) India on Monday wholeheartedly welcomed Egypt, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia joining the BRICS as their representatives attended for the first time a key meeting of the grouping hosted by Russia.
    Senior diplomat Dammu Ravi led the Indian delegation at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nizhny Novgorod, in western Russia.
    "A significant meeting in the format of expanded BRICS family. India wholeheartedly welcomes the new membership," the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Randhir Jaiswal posted on X.
    The meeting on Monday was the first ministerial meeting following BRICS expansion in 2023 when Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE joined Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa as full-fledged BRICS members.
    Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) in MEA, led the Indian delegation at the BRICS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nizhny Novgorod, it said.
    Usually, the External Affairs Minister attends such meetings. Since S Jaishankar was reappointed as External Affairs Minister only on Monday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony on Sunday, he could not make it to Russia to attend the meeting.
    A joint statement issued after the meeting said the BRICS foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the framework of BRICS Strategic Partnership under the three pillars of cooperation – politics and security, economy and finance, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
    The ministers reiterated their commitment to multilateralism and upholding the international law, including the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as its indispensable cornerstone, and the central role of the UN in an international system in which sovereign states cooperate to maintain international peace and security, advance sustainable development, ensure the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
    They voiced their support for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more democratic, representative, effective and efficient.
    The ministers reaffirmed the important role of the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and welcomed and supported the inclusion of the African Union as a member of the G20 at the G20 New Delhi Summit.
    The ministers reiterated that the consecutive G20 presidencies of India, Brazil and South Africa in 2023-2025 lay a solid ground for addressing inequalities, imbalances and shortcomings in the world economy, expressed support for continuity and collaboration in their G20 presidencies and wished them all success in their endeavours.
    Voicing their concern about ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world, the ministers reiterated their commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes through diplomacy, inclusive dialogue and consultations in a coordinated and cooperative manner and supported all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises.
    The ministers recalled their national positions concerning the situation in and around Ukraine as expressed in the appropriate fora, including the UN Security Council and noted with appreciation relevant proposals of mediation and good offices aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy, the statement said.
    The BRICS ministers "expressed grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular the unprecedented escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip as a result of the Israeli military operation that led to mass civilian displacement, death and casualties, and destruction of civilian infrastructure," it said.
    The ministers called for the effective implementation of the UNSC resolution 2728 for an immediate, durable, and sustained ceasefire. They equally called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and civilians who are being illegally held captive. They expressed grave concern by the increasing attacks by Israel on Rafah, the statement said.
    They reaffirmed their rejection of any attempt aiming at forcefully displacing, expelling or transferring the Palestinian people from their land.
    They reaffirmed their support for Palestine's full membership in the United Nations and reiterated their unwavering commitment to the vision of the two-state solution based on international law including relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative that includes the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine in line with internationally recognized borders of June 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital living side by side in peace and security with Israel.
    The ministers emphasised the need for an urgent peaceful settlement in Afghanistan in order to strengthen regional security and stability.
    They expressed strong condemnation of any acts of terrorism as "criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed" and reaffirmed their commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the cross-border terrorism and terrorism financing and safe havens.
    "They reiterated that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group and that all those involved in terrorist activities and their support must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with international law," the statement said, adding that the Ministers urged to ensure "zero tolerance for terrorism" and rejected double standards in countering terrorism.
    The ministers expressed the need to comprehensively strengthen mechanisms for countering the increased use, in a globalised society, by terrorists and their supporters of emerging and evolving technologies such as the Internet and other information and communications technologies, including social media platforms, for terrorist purposes.
    They also called on all parties to fully implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement, the statement said.
    They opposed unilateral protectionist measures, which deliberately disrupt the global supply and production chains and distort competition, the statement said.
    The ministers expressed their support for an "open, transparent, fair, inclusive, equitable, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system" with the World Trade Organisation at its core, with special and differential treatment (S&DT) for developing countries, including Least Developed Countries as the key foundational principle of the WTO.
    The ministers also underscored the importance of the enhanced use of local currencies in trade and financial transactions between the BRICS countries.
    Russia took over the year-long chairmanship of BRICS on January 1, 2024.
    Russia’s presidency features more than 250 various events, with a BRICS summit in Kazan in October 2024 being the central one, Russia's official TASS news agency reported.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)