Turkey’s foreign minister: “BRICS compared to the EU is that it includes all civilizations and races”

12:02 27.06.2024 •

Russian President Putin with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan

Turkey has reached out to the BRICS club of major emerging nations that includes Russia and China, in a sign of growing frustration over a lack of progress in talks to join the European Union, writes Bloomberg.

“We have relations and are holding talks, negotiations with the BRICS countries and they’re also going through an evolution,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told Haberturk television in an interview. “If the EU had the will to take a step forward, our perspective on certain issues could be different.”

Ankara had sought to revive its stalled bid to join the EU, one of its biggest trade partners, while simultaneously pursuing new alliances that could help expand its $1 trillion economy.

BRICS, named after members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, doubled in size at the start of 2024 with the inclusion of Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia and Egypt. Others are planning to enter the group or considering invitations to join.

Turkey has long been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and part of Europe’s defense system. But it’s failed to make progress on negotiations with the EU since the start of its accession talks in 2005, facing a series of obstacles that include what the bloc calls the country’s democratic shortcomings.

“There is a military alliance within NATO, but an economic alliance has not materialized,” Fidan said of the EU. “Therefore, our search has been underway.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously expressed interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, set up by Russia and China as a rival to NATO, and plans to attend the security bloc’s meeting in Kazakhstan next week.

Fidan said Turkey may also apply for an upgraded dialogue partnership with the Association of South East Asian Nations. The BRICS countries are developing a lending system and conduct trade among themselves in local currencies, he said, something Ankara also favors.

“The different and beautiful thing about BRICS compared to the EU is that it includes all civilizations and races,” Fidan said. “If it can become a little more institutional, it will produce serious benefits.”


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