Top BRICS Diplomats Approached Indonesia With Proposal to Join, Foreign Minister Says

The foreign ministers of the BRICS states have reached out to invite Indonesia to become a member of the group, their Indonesian counterpart unveiled. The government in Jakarta is still weighing the benefits of joining the organization and is yet to decide whether to apply formally.

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Indonesia has been contacted by the top diplomats of the BRICS member states (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) with a proposal to join the grouping, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, told a parliamentary committee.

“All BRICS foreign ministers made an approach to Indonesia to invite it to join,” she was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying during a meeting of the First Commission of the House of Representatives, which is responsible for defense, intelligence and foreign affairs matters.

However, the Indonesian government is still studying the potential benefits, both political and economic, of a BRICS membership, Retno noted, adding that her nation is yet to submit an “expression of interest” letter to the organization.

Jakarta’s top diplomat pointed out that Indonesian President Joko Widodo attended the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Aug. 22-24 and highlighted the strong relations his country has with all BRICS members.

At the forum, Indonesia’s head of state emphasized that his nation is still considering its participation in BRICS. “We want to study first, calculate first, we don’t want to rush,” he said, according to a video posted by his administration.

During their summit, the current five member states agreed to admit six more nations to the organization on Jan. 1, 2024 – Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – and, according to a Russian diplomat, all of them have accepted the invitation.

Indonesia was mentioned among potential candidates for BRICS membership in a report by the Indian Business Standard daily in June. The bloc already covers 40% of the world’s population and the Southeast Asian nation is the most populous Muslim country.

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