(Reuters) -The G20 grouping of nations has agreed to grant permanent membership to the African Union, Bloomberg News said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move would give the African Union, a continental body of 55 member states, the same status as the EU, from its current designation of “invited international organization,” it added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to the leaders of the G20 nations in June proposing the African Union be given full, permanent membership of the bloc at the upcoming summit in the Indian capital.

The grouping currently comprises 19 countries and the European Union.

The G20 this year has also invited nine non-member countries, including Bangladesh, Singapore, Spain and Nigeria, besides international organisations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, the World Bank and the IMF to the weekend summit in New Delhi.

The G20 leaders are expected to announce the decision during the summit, the Bloomberg report said.

Countries like Germany, Brazil, and Canada have also expressed their support for African Union membership to the G20.

The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies. The members represent around 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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