Saudi Arabia and Iran among six countries invited to join BRICS
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Cyril Ramaphosa, South African president, announced Thursday that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, has been invited to join the BRICS economic bloc, which also includes Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia.

It has already been expressed that all invitees are interested in attending.

As of January 1, 2024, the membership will take effect, Ramaphosa said.

The announcement was made on the final day of this year’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, and marks the group’s first expansion since 2010. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are currently members of the group.

A video message from Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the new BRICS members, adding that the bloc’s global influence will continue to grow.

“I congratulate the new members who will work in a full-scale format next year,” Putin said.

“And I would like to assure all colleagues that we will continue the work we began today to expand BRICS’ influence globally. “I mean to establish practical work with new members and with those who will work on BRICS outreach with our partners and would like to work with us,” he added.

Moreover, Putin said the issue of a common currency for BRICS countries was a “difficult question” but “we will move towards solving them.”

Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, welcomed the expansion, saying his country had always believed adding new members would strengthen the bloc.

With the announcement, Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, joins China, the world’s largest oil importer.

There have been questions raised about the potential de-dollarization of the bloc following its expansion. It is “unlikely” that a BRICS currency will emerge any time soon, according to analysts.