India dismissed reports that it opposes the expansion of the BRICS grouping ahead of the upcoming summit in Johannesburg.
In a statement, it labeled these reports as "baseless" and clarified its stance on admitting new members.
In other reports, there is no final decision yet on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS summit in person. New Delhi is still considering this matter and will make a decision in due course.
The expansion of the BRICS grouping will be a significant topic of discussion at the upcoming summit. The five-nation group, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, will deliberate extensively on this matter.
Several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan, have expressed keen interest in joining the BRICS grouping. Their desire to be part of the group highlights its growing importance and influence in the international community.
India's External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, dismissed the baseless speculation that India has reservations against the expansion of BRICS. He stated this during a media briefing, emphasizing that such claims are simply not true.
India has previously clarified its position on the expansion of BRICS, he added.
He clarified that as per the mandate from the leaders last year, the member countries are currently engaged in internal discussions regarding the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedures for the expansion process. This is being done through full consultation and consensus, he said.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman in Moscow, had stated that the addition of new members will further strengthen the BRICS grouping. He also stated that the expansion, in one form or another, will contribute to the continued development and strengthening of the organization.
The Kremlin spokesman emphasized the positive impact that the expansion of BRICS will have on the organization. He expressed confidence that the inclusion of new members will enhance the group's overall development and strengthen its position in the international arena.
In response to a media report suggesting that Prime Minister Modi may not attend the summit in South Africa, Bagchi dismissed it as speculative and urged not to rely on such reports. He assured that when there is confirmation of high-level visits, it will be announced.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the summit in Johannesburg.
The BRICS alliance consists of five major developing countries, representing a significant portion of the global population, GDP, and trade. Together, they account for 41% of the world's population, 24% of the global GDP, and 16% of the global trade.
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