Dhaka hopes to be BRICS member in next phase: Foreign secy

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen
File photo

Foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen today said that there is no reason to be disheartened over Bangladesh not being included in the BRICS as Dhaka is hopeful to be included to this developing economies bloc in next phase.

"It's an ongoing process (to get BRICS membership)," he told reporters at the foreign ministry here.

The foreign secretary said that this is the first phase and Bangladesh hopes to be included in the next phase.

"In the meantime, we also got time to some extent," he added.

Momen said that Bangladesh remains a part of the New Development Bank (NDB) while the NDB is the only tangible outcome of BRICS over the last 15 years.

"There are many issues - political and regional, and there is the issue of maintaining balance (to be included in BRICS)," he said while responding to a question.

He said there was an effort to make a geographical balance and there were more interested countries but they also did not get (BRICS) membership.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia were the six countries invited to join the BRICS at the just concluded summit.

The announcement came after two days of talks at the summit in Johannesburg involving Brazilian president Luiz In cio Lula da Silva, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Chinese president Xi Jinping and South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Russian president Vladimir Putin participated in the discussions virtually.

BRICS is a consensus-based organization that needs all members to agree on decisions.

The bloc was originally formed by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2009 and South Africa joined in 2010.

Responding to another question, the foreign secretary said that Bangladesh wants to begin repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar this year, initially with around 1,000 of the Rohingyas.

"We have given a list of over 3,000. We need to make sure that families are not separated," he said.

Momen said a Bangladesh delegation will be visiting Myanmar next month while a team from Myanmar will be here to talk to Rohingyas as part of confidence-building measures.