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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Brics membership expands, six new countries to join from 2024

Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates will join existing members Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.


Six countries including two African countries have made the cut to join Brics.

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement on Thursday − the third and final day of the 15th Brics Summit held at Sandton Convention Centre, Joburg.

A combined 23 countries formally applied for membership, including the six that Ramaphosa said were invited. 

New Brics countries

Ramaphosa said the bloc itself is a diverse group of nations and an equal partnership of countries that have different views but a shared vision for a better world.

“As the five Brics countries, we have reached an agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the Brics expansion process which has been in discussion for quite a while.

“We have a consensus on the first phase of this expansion process and other phases will follow. 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,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the new counties will be Brics members from the 1st of January 2024.

The president added that the current Brics countries value the interest of other nations building a partnership with the bloc.

“We have tasked our foreign ministers to further develop the Brics partner country model and a list of prospective partner countries and report by the next summit.”

Brazil

President of Brazil Lula da Silva said the block will “remain open to new candidates”.

He added that Brics “offers a source of creative solutions for the challenges that we face”.

Russia

President of Russian Vladimir Putin delivered a closing statement via video link.

He lauded Ramaphosa’s diplomatic skills in handling the negotiations including the issue around the expansion.

 “The adoption of the guiding principles in the expansion of Brics will ensure that the role and importance of Brics in the world will continue to grow.”

India

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ramaphosa for the successful summit and said India has always fully supported the expansion of Brics membership.

“India has always believed that the addition of new members will further strengthen the bloc as an organisation and it will give our shared efforts a new impetus. This will also strengthen the belief of many countries in the multipolar world order.”

China

President of China Xi Jinping said there were in-depth discussions on global issues and they reached consensus.

“The expansion of Brics is a new starting point for cooperation and to further the cause for world peace and development. The future will be bright for Brics countries,” said Jinping.

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