In a move aimed at growing the bloc’s clout, leaders of the BRICS group of developing nations have decided to invite six new countries to become members of the group, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
“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,” he said.
“The membership will take effect from the 1st of January 2024.”
As NATO grows, Russian allies pull away: analyst
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the BRICS summit that Moscow intends to deepen ties with African countries, and that it would remain a reliable partner for food and fuel supplies.
The debate over enlargement has topped the agenda at the three-day summit taking place in Johannesburg.
And while all BRICS members publicly expressed support for growing the bloc, there were divisions among the leaders over how much and how quickly.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the bloc’s expansion should be an example to other global institutions founded in the 20th century that have become outdated.