By Emmanuel Nduka
The BRICS group of nations has extended invitation to six countries – Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to become new members of the bloc.
This was disclosed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.
Heritage Times HT reports that the debate over expanding the BRICS bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has topped the agenda at a three-day summit in Johannesburg ending on Thursday.
While all BRICS members have publicly expressed support for growing the bloc, there were divisions among the leaders over how much and how quickly.
Meanwhile, more than 20 countries have formally applied to join the group, officials say, with Saudi Arabia one of the most significant.
Four of the bloc’s leaders are in Johannesburg for the group’s first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin is not attending after an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for him over the war in Ukraine complicated his travel to South Africa, but will participate virtually.