BRICS Extends Invitations to 6 New Member States, Who's In?

(Image: Laily Rachev)
The dynamic economic coalition of emerging nations, better known as BRICS, has extended an invitation for membership to six countries. These six countries are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Their membership is set to take effect from January 1, 2024. The invitation to join BRICS was announced by the current President of South Africa and BRICS Chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa.

"The BRICS alliance, composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has invited Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to join," stated Ramaphosa in a speech published on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, as reported by CNBC on Friday (August 25, 2023).

South Africa is currently hosting the 15th BRICS Summit, where the expansion of the group holds a significant place on the meeting's agenda.

Russian President Vladimir Putin could not attend in person, most likely due to the International Criminal Court's warrant, which theoretically compels the host country – itself a signatory of the ICC – to proceed with his arrest. "BRICS is a group of diverse nations," affirmed Ramaphosa.

"This is an equal partnership among countries with differing viewpoints but a shared vision for a better world. As the five #BRICS members, we have reached agreements regarding the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedural processes for the #BRICS expansion."

Interest from Other Nations

A total of 23 countries have formally applied for BRICS membership, including the six countries that Ramaphosa mentioned as being invited.

Other significant African nations, such as Nigeria and Ghana, have unofficially expressed interest in joining.

President Xi Jinping of China stated that the addition of these members marks a new starting point for BRICS cooperation.

"This will inject fresh vigor into the BRICS cooperation mechanism, further strengthening global peace and development," he said at a press conference.

Meanwhile, Putin expressed gratitude for Ramaphosa's unique diplomatic skills. "While negotiating all positions, including those related to BRICS expansion," he noted, highlighting that the discussions proved to be challenging work. Ramaphosa hinted at the possibility of more countries joining BRICS in the future.

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