BRICS Extends Membership To UAE, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Others

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In a groundbreaking development, the BRICS consortium of nations has extended coveted invitations to six prominent oil-producing countries to join its ranks as full members, heralding a significant expansion of the influential economic bloc.

BRICS Extends Membership To UAE, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Others
Comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, BRICS has set its sights on widening its sphere of influence by welcoming new members into its fold.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, hosting the ongoing BRICS summit in Johannesburg, unveiled the ambitious expansion plan during a press briefing on Thursday.

In his address, President Ramaphosa detailed the intricacies of the expansion and the rationale behind this strategic move. The newly invited nations are Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With the first phase of the expansion process already agreed upon, President Ramaphosa announced that the new entrants would officially become BRICS members on January 1, 2024. Speaking at the summit, he emphasized the meticulous consensus-building efforts that have paved the way for this historic decision.

“As a five-BRICS country, 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 consensus on the first phase of this expansion process and other phases will follow,” Ramaphosa said.

“We have decided to invite the Argentina 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 (UAE) to become full members of BRICS. The membership will take effect from the 1st of January, 2024.”

The inclusion of these six nations, President Ramaphosa noted, marks a decisive milestone in the evolution of BRICS, signaling a shared commitment to fostering economic cooperation, sustainable development, and enhanced geopolitical influence. The proposed membership’s commencement date has been firmly set for January 1, 2024.

Notably, three of the six invited oil-producing nations — Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the UAE — hold key positions within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), further underscoring the strategic implications of their BRICS integration.

Contrasting the burgeoning global role of these nations, Nigeria, an OPEC member in its own right is not currently part of the BRICS coalition. Nigeria recently ascended to the prestigious position of Africa’s third-largest oil producer, boasting an average daily output of 1,081,396 barrels as of July 2023.

Evidencing the importance of this historic expansion, Vice-President Kashim Shettima embarked on a diplomatic journey from Nigeria to represent President Bola Tinubu at the 15th BRICS summit hosted in South Africa on August 21. The summit’s agenda encompasses multifaceted discussions encompassing trade and investment facilitation, sustainable development, innovation, and global governance reform.

The summit’s focal point, however, rests on deliberations concerning global geopolitics and the imperative of infrastructure development. With a steadfast commitment to engaging leaders from Africa and the broader global south, the BRICS consortium is poised to shape the contours of future international cooperation and shape the trajectory of global economic dynamics.

As January 1, 2024, approaches, the international community keenly anticipates the transformative effects of this landmark expansion, as the BRICS alliance solidifies its position as a pivotal force driving global economic progress and collaboration.

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