New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Monday said that India has a really positive intent for the expansion of BRICS and supports it with an open mind.

In a special briefing ahead the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to South Africa for the BRICS meeting, he said, "In so far as BRICS expansion is concerned, we have been clear from the start that we have positive intent and an open mind when it comes to BRICS expansion. Those are the subject matters of ongoing current discussion between the Sherpas of the BRICS in South Africa and I would not want to prejudge the outcome of the discussions."

Kwatra added, "There is considerable interest in many countries to become part of BRICS and to associate themselves with BRICS to leverage various opportunities that the alliance presents for itself."

This year's BRICS is under the presidency of South Africa and is organising the first face-to-face summit since 2019 in Johannesburg from August 22-24.

South Africa became Chair of BRICS on January 1 under the theme: "BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism." Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the BRICS 15th Summit at the invitation of South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa.

During his visit to South Africa, PM Modi will also participate in a special event "BRICS – Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue" being organized after the BRICS Summit, which will include other nations invited by South Africa, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced in a press release. He will also hold bilateral meetings with some of the leaders present in Johannesburg. (ANI)

Recently, South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa has said he supports the expansion of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping, as it will represent a diverse group of nations sharing a common desire.

His remarks come ahead of the 15th Summit of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa took to social media account X (formerly known as Twitter) to state that over 20 countries have applied for membership in BRICS.

"The 15th #BRICS Summit will discuss a number of issues including the important issue of the possible expansion of the membership of BRICS. More than 20 countries have formally applied to join BRICS and several others have expressed an interest in becoming part of the BRICS family. South Africa supports the expansion of the membership of BRICS," Ramaphosa said in a post on X.

"The value of BRICS extends beyond the interests of its current members. For its efforts to be more effective, #BRICS needs to build partnerships with other countries that share its aspirations and perspectives. An expanded #BRICS will represent a diverse group of nations with different political systems that share a common desire to have a more balanced global order," he added.

He further said that other than the African leaders, several countries of the Global South are also in attendance. These include countries from the Caribbean and South America, from the Middle East, from West Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia.

After wrapping up the BRICS meeting, PM Modi will travel to Greece on August 25. During his visit, he will hold a meeting with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis and discuss ways to further deepen the ties between the two nations. He will also interact with business leaders from both countries. He will also have an interaction with the Indian community in Greece.