Monday, June 17, 2024

BRICS meeting kicks off with minute’s silence for late Iran president, FM

A two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the BRICS group of countries started in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod on Monday.

The summit begun on Monday, with the participants observing a minute’s silence in memory of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident last month.

It continued with an address by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated the participants at the meeting will discuss “international relations, improvement of the global governance system with emphasis on strengthening the role of developing countries, conflict resolution, and interaction in leading multilateral platforms”.

The BRICS group of fast-developing economies initially consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

This year, the group was expanded to include Iran, Egypt, the UAE and Ethiopia as new members.

The bloc, which is often seen as an alternative to the Western economic and political hegemony, comprises almost 46 percent of the global population, 36 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 25 percent of the global trade measured in terms of exports.

Iran’s interim Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani arrived in Nizhny Novgorod early Monday to attend the BRICS ministerial meeting.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “BRICS is the biggest international economic and trade organization that operates outside the framework of Western unilateralism.”

“The presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this organization is indicative of the position and importance of our country in the multilateral [world] system,” he added.

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