Three Arab League nations join Brics bloc as new member states

The Arab League has emerged as the biggest winner in the resolutions to expand the Brics economic bloc.

This after the five Brics member countries unanimously agreed to add six countries into their bloc. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates are Arab League member states.

Brics Summit chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday morning that the grouping has resolved to also welcome Argentina, Ethiopia and Iran into the family.

These countries will become full Brics member states from January 2024 and will attend the 16th Brics Summit in Russia in October next year.

The Arab League and the African Union will have the biggest representation in the new Brics with three member states apiece of the now 11-member grouping.

Ramaphosa announced the decision at the Sandton Convention Centre where the five leaders have been gathering since Tuesday for the 15th Brics Summit.

“We have successfully concluded the 15th Brics Summit, the first to be hosted in person since the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Ramaphosa.

“Brics is a diverse group of nations and equal partnership of countries that have differing views but a shared vision for a better world.

“As the five countries, we have reached a decision of the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the Brics expansion process. We have 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, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of Brics. Their membership will take effect from the first of January 2024.”

All Brics member states heads expressed support of the decision, which will see the Brics bloc’s influence in geopolitics growing to new heights.

Brazil President Lula da Silva said: “The relevance of Brics is demonstrated by the interest of other countries.

“It is with great pleasure that Brazil welcomes the new members. Now the GDP [gross domestic product] of Brics is going up to 37% of the world in terms of purchasing power.”

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin also expressed support of the decision.

“This was a challenging work and President Cyril Ramaphosa showed unique diplomatic mastery as we negotiated many things including the Brics expansion,” said Putin.

“I would like to congratulate new Brics members for their full membership, we will keep up with the work to expand Brics influence in the world.”

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi concurred, saying his country has always supported the expansion of Brics to forge a new world order.

“I am very pleased this three-day meeting has had many successful outcomes including the important decision to expand Brics,” said Modi.

“India has always believed that the addition of new members will strengthen Brics as an organisation and give our shared efforts a new impetus.”

China President Xi Jinping said the sky is the limit for Brics in forging a truly multi-polar world order where the wings of the West are clipped.

“China congratulates the new members and highly appreciates efforts by our chair, President Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said.

“This expansion is historic and shows the determination of Brics for unity and collaboration to the broader developing world.

“The expansion is a new starting point for Brics and will bring new vigour to further strengthen the course for world peace and collaboration.

“The future will be bright for Brics countries.”


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