Syria to apply to join BRICS, SCO, says minister
Syrian Finance Minister Kanaan Yaghi says Damascus intends to apply to join BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Syria intends to apply to join the BRICS alliance, the bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Finance Minister Kanaan Yaghi said Thursday.
There are also plans to open a SberBank branch in Syria, Yaghi told Russian news agency Sputnik during an interview.
Wang Zhimin, the head of the China Research Institute of Modernization and Globalization, told Sputnik that 13 countries have expressed their desire to join the BRICS alliance.
"Everyone knows that the idea of 'BRICS+' was put forward to gradually increase dialogue and cooperation between BRICS countries, developing countries, and actively developing economies," Wang said.
The announcement comes after Egypt said Wednesday that it applied to join BRICS.
"Egypt has applied to join the BRICS group because one of the initiatives that BRICS is currently engaged in is the maximum transfer of trade to alternative currencies, whether national or the creation of some kind of joint currency," Russian Ambassador Georgy Borisenko said.
"Egypt is very interested in this," the Russian diplomat underlined as the bloc heads toward further expansion.
Egypt expressed its desire to develop trade and economic cooperation with Russia, the top diplomat said. There is a process of building "new mechanisms for mutual settlements in these trade operations."
This also comes after Argentina's Bank President Dilma Rousseff said her country could join the BRICS' New Development Bank (NDB) as early as August.
Rousseff relayed to Argentine Economy Minister Sergio Massa that a vote on Argentina's admission was formally authorized by the NDB's board of directors.
The NDB was established in 2014 at the group's annual summit, and it aims to boost resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and developing countries through loans, guarantees, and other financial tools.
BRICS countries are de-dollarizing trade, as China and Brazil struck last week a deal to ditch the US dollar in their bilateral transactions, which is expected to reduce investment costs and develop economic ties between the two countries.
Put forward by Brazil, the proposal is due to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the board of directors set to take place at the beginning of August in South Africa.
After assuming the rotating BRICS presidency in January, South Africa will host the 15th BRICS summit from August 22 to 24.
It was reported earlier that South Africa would provide foreign officials attending the BRICS summit hosted by the country in August with diplomatic immunity.
Moreover, the foreign ministers of BRICS' founding member states said the bloc was open to new members in light of their aspirations for a greater say in international affairs.