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Kremlin welcomes Turkey’s reported desire to join BRICS

MOSCOW/ANKARA (Reuters) – Russia welcomes Turkey’s reported desire to become part of the BRICS group of nations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, saying the subject would be on the agenda of the organisation’s next summit.

Peskov said there was heightened interest in BRICS – a group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Iran, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates – from various states, but said it was unlikely the grouping could completely satisfy all interested nations.

On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan began a visit to Beijing, the highest-level visit by a Turkish official to BRICS member China since 2012. Fidan held talks with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and other officials during the visit.

Asked whether Turkey would want to join BRICS during a talk at the Center for China and Globalization on Monday, Fidan said “we would like to of course, why would we not?”. However, he did not elaborate further.

Fidan was cited by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency as saying Ankara was also eyeing cooperation with BRICS members and that he would attend a planned meeting of the group next week in Russia.

It was not immediately clear whether Ankara would take steps to join the BRICS group, as Ankara has not previously stated its desire to formally join.

NATO member Turkey had come under fire by its Western allies in recent years over its ties with Russia, with some saying that its “axis” was shifting away from the Western military alliance.

Ankara has rejected this, saying it remained a committed member of the alliance and maintained its goal of full membership of the European Union.

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