BRICS has extended invitations to Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
This move is seen as a way to counterbalance Western-dominated entities.
The inclusion of Iran has attracted attention.
The BRICS group, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has extended invitations to six other countries, namely Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
This move showcases the group’s emergence as a strong geopolitical alternative to Western-led international forums. The announcement was made during a summit in South Africa, highlighting the BRICS group’s intention to counterbalance Western-dominated entities like the G7 and the World Bank.
Despite presenting a united front, the recent BRICS summit revealed differing opinions among its members regarding this expansion. Some leaders expressed caution about recreating Cold War-era global dynamics, expressing concerns about potential changes in the group’s priorities and dynamics.
Nonetheless, this expansion aligns with the BRICS group’s aim of promoting diversity in an increasingly divided world, especially given events such as Russia’s actions in Ukraine and strained relations between the US and China.
The inclusion of Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia has sparked discussions about the future direction of the BRICS group. India, mindful of its ongoing territorial disputes with China, emphasized its strategic importance within the group. Brazil and South Africa aimed to maintain their relationships with partners in Europe and North America.
The decision to include Iran in this expansion attracted attention, highlighting the influence of Russia and China in shaping the group’s choices. This move could potentially heighten geopolitical tensions with Western powers due to Iran’s complex international relations. While countering Western dominance is a clear goal for the BRICS group, Iran’s involvement adds a layer of complexity to this pursuit.
China’s President, Xi Jinping, a supporter of swift expansion, hailed the addition of new members as a “historic” development. Xi emphasized the importance of collaboratively defining and upholding international rules, challenging the notion that the most powerful players should dictate these rules.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi echoed this sentiment, seeing the expansion as a catalyst for global institutions to adjust to changing times.
The addition of six new countries to BRICS introduces a wide range of strategic interests.
Saudi Arabia, an important trading partner in the Middle East for BRICS, has nurtured its relationship with China while also maintaining some independence from the US.
Egypt, situated between Africa and the Middle East, has developed connections with Russia and China while also staying connected with the United States.
Facing economic difficulties, Argentina views BRICS membership as a potential source of financial support and an opportunity to explore new economic paths.
Iran’s bid to join BRICS reflects its aspiration to strengthen bonds with non-Western nations and counter Western isolation efforts.
The United Arab Emirates, already involved with BRICS’ New Development Bank, has been formally invited for full membership, indicating a significant advancement in its collaboration with the group.
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