6 new countries to join BRICS, including Iran and Saudi Arabia

The leaders of the BRICS consortium have chosen to extend invitations to an additional half-dozen nations with the aim of inviting them into their alliance. These nations include Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa made this announcement during a three-day summit of the emerging market coalition held in Johannesburg this week. The formal inclusion of these new members into BRICS is scheduled to take place on January 1, 2024.

Ramaphosa expressed the collective gratitude of the group for the enthusiastic interest demonstrated by various other countries in establishing collaborative ties with BRICS. He disclosed that the task of refining the BRICS partner country framework and assembling a list of potential partner nations has been entrusted to the Foreign Ministers. The outcomes of their efforts are expected to be presented at the upcoming summit.

This decision to expand the coalition reflects the recognition of the limited advancement in deepening the existing BRICS alliance. Although these member nations jointly account for a substantial portion of the global GDP, their individual interests diverge significantly. These divergences encompass various aspects, including China\’s elevation as a global powerhouse, India\’s policy of non-alignment, and Brazil\’s role as a prominent agricultural exporter. Notably, some of the newly invited nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, have historically strained relations, which gives rise to questions about the potential for unified actions beyond strengthening the representation of the Middle East and Africa within the coalition.

The leaders from the BRICS consortium, comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, convened in Johannesburg for their 15th summit. This occasion marked the first time they met in person since the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. It\’s noteworthy that Russian President Vladimir Putin chose virtual participation due to the risk of arrest associated with a war crimes indictment issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague pertaining to Russia\’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. Instead, Putin conveyed his message through a video address.

Recent reports have indicated that over 40 countries have expressed their interest in joining BRICS, with 22 of them having formally submitted membership requests.

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