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BRICS ministerial meeting begins with minute's silence for late Iran president, FM

Foreign ministers of the BRICS group of countries meet in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on June 10, 2024. (Photo via X)

A two-day meeting of foreign ministers of the BRICS group of countries has begun in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod.

The summit kicked off on Monday, with the participants observing a minute's silence in memory of Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, 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 said 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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