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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UAE, Saudi Arabia Invited to Join Brics Expansion

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the expansion of the Brics club of emerging nations on Thursday, welcoming six new members including Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Iran from the beginning of next year.

Ramaphosa stated, “We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, to become full members of Brics. The membership will take effect from the first of January 2024,” at a summit in Johannesburg.

Enlarging the Brics, which currently consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, was a central topic during the three-day summit and revealed differences within the bloc regarding the pace and criteria for admitting new members.

Around two dozen countries formally applied to join the Brics, representing a quarter of the global economy and over three billion people.

The 15th Brics heads of state and government summit is underway in Johannesburg from August 22 to August 24. The question of expansion has brought divergent views among member nations. China and Russia aim to bolster the bloc’s global influence through expansion, while Brazil has concerns about diluting its influence. India expressed openness to expansion but called for clear ground rules.

Brics, initiated by Russia in 2009, serves as an informal club to counter the dominance of the US and Western allies. The group convenes annually, with member nations taking turns in the rotating chairmanship.

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