Group soft on Syria, Iran; seeks larger play in global economy | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Group soft on Syria, Iran; seeks larger play in global economy

delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2012 02:12 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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Heads-of-the-BRICS-countries-L-to-R-President-Dilma-Rousseff-of-Brazil-Russian-President-Dimitry-Medvedev-Indian-Prime-Minister-Manmohan-Singh-Chinese-President-Hu-Jintao-and-President-Jacob-Zuma-of-South-Africa-pose-prior-to-the-BRICS-Summit-in-New-Delhi-AFP-Prakash-Singh

The five emerging BRICS economies added a strong political note to their economic agenda at the Delhi summit on Thursday, joining hands against the West's policies on Iran and Syria. They also signalled displeasure towards the West's management of the global economy.

The grouping - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - warned against military action by the West to end the unrest in Syria or by Israel in the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

"We agreed a lasting solution in Syria and Iran can only be found through dialogue," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

The annual meeting also unveiled plans for a BRICS development bank and pressed western countries to cede more voting share in the International Monetary Fund by this year.

The BRICS countries, which constitute 43% of the world's population and over 18% of its GDP, had decided to add more political content to their interactions at their China summit last year.

In the Delhi round, Singh and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia , President Hu Jintao of China and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa discussed around 20 areas of mutual interest.

The Delhi declaration warned of the "disastrous consequences" of allowing the Iran stand-off to escalate into a conflict and stressed that the bloodshed in Syria be resolved peacefully.

"The situation concerning Iran cannot be allowed to escalate into conflict, the disastrous consequences of which will be in no one's interest. Iran has a crucial role to play for the peaceful development and prosperity of a region of high political and economic relevance," the declaration said.

Be it Syria or Iran, the grouping wanted to exert its collective weight to have a greater say in world affairs and on issues having a bearing on all of them.

"In future, the BRICS agenda will be a step-by-step transformation of this forum into a strong and powerful organisation," Medvedev said.

Besides moving forward on the BRICS bank - seen as a possible counterweight to multilateral lenders such as the World Bank - the grouping signed two framework agreements to facilitate inter-banking cooperation.

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