By Asmau Ahmad
The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries on Thursday invited Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join the group.
The Chairman of BRICS, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, made this known at the global news conference, on the side-line of the two-day BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting, in Cape Town, South Africa, which was monitored live from Abuja.
According to him, the full membership of the new countries will take effect from January 1, 2024.
“We have decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate to become full members of BRICS,” Ramaphosa said.
Speaking at the meeting, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister, Ma Zhaoxu, said “China is looking forward to welcoming new members to join the BRICS family at an early date.”
Ma urged the BRICS countries to uphold its spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, continuously deepen pragmatic cooperation and promote high-quality development.
He urged BRICS countries to adhere to fairness and justice, self-confidence, self-reliance, autonomy, and self-improvement, strengthen strategic communication and coordination with the majority of developing countries.
Ma also urged BRICS nations to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
The vice-foreign minister pledged China’s full support to South Africa’s BRICS chairmanship, saying China would work with BRICS partners to promote the successful outcome of the summit in Johannesburg.
On his part, Meles Alem, Ethiopian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, said during a news conference that Ethiopia hoped for a positive decision on its application to join BRICS member states.
“Ethiopia has formally applied to join the alliance. We expect that BRICS will give us a positive response to the request we have made,” he said.
Venezuela among several countries had expressed interest to join the BRICS group of developing nations.
First, there were four, then there were five, and now there might be more.
The meeting held under the auspices of the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, started on Aug. 22 and would end on August 24.
The meeting sought to strengthen BRICS cooperation.
It was also established to promote the unity and self-improvement of developing countries, promote change of the global governance system, accelerate achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and contribute towards peaceful development globally.
The meeting also discussed preparation for the upcoming leaders’ summit, potential expansion of the group, trade and means to tackle economic issues.
Meanwhile, BRICS leaders announced on Thursday that six countries have agreed to join the organisation to expand areas of partnership.
The six countries’ membership would take effect on January 1, 2024, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced at a press conference during the 15th BRICS Summit.
“We value the interests of other countries in building the partnership of BRICS,” said Ramaphosa.
The countries are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
BRICS leaders met here from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa to discuss issues of common interest including deepening BRICS cooperation and the group’s expansion.
The BRICS member states are: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.