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BRICS Collapse, Algeria Stays Out

The non-election of Algeria as one of the new member states of the BRICS group is a severe blow for the Administration led by Abdelmadjid Tebboune. In contrast, the figure of the Polisario has been exalted. Six countries have been invited to join the BRICS emerging markets economic coalition, according to Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa and current chairman of the BRICS.

In a speech published on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Ramaphosa said that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will be invited to join the BRICS alliance, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. As of January 1, 2024, they will become members.

The 15th BRICS summit is currently being held in South Africa and an important issue on the agenda was the expansion of the organization. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, was unable to attend in person, probably as a result of an International Criminal Court (ICC) order that, in theory, would have required the host nation, a signatory to the ICC, to go ahead with his arrest.

According to Ramaphosa, the BRICS are a diverse group of countries. “It is an egalitarian group of nations with contrasting points of view, but with the common goal of a better world.” The guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process have been agreed by the five BRICS members.

AFP/ GIANLUIGI GUERCIA - El Primer Ministro de la India, Narendra Modi (CL), y el Presidente sudafricano, Cyril Ramaphosa (R), llegan a la Cumbre BRICS de 2023 en el Centro de Convenciones de Sandton en Johannesburgo el 23 de agosto de 2023
AFP/ GIANLUIGI GUERCIA – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (CL) and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) arrive at the 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on August 23, 2023

In total, 23 nations have submitted formal applications to join the BRICS, including the six that Ramaphosa stated were invited. There has been informal interest from other major African players such as Nigeria and Ghana. The enlargement, according to Chinese President Xi Jinping, is a “new starting point for BRICS cooperation.”

According to a translation provided by the summit, Russian Leader Vladimir Putin praised Ramaphosa’s “unique diplomatic mastery” as we negotiated all positions, including those related to the expansion of the BRICS, noted that the negotiations were “a challenging job” and praised his “unique diplomatic mastery.”

Ramaphosa suggested that more could be added later

“We respect the desire of other nations to partner with the BRICS. Speaking at a press conference of BRICS officials on Thursday, he said”. We have tasked our foreign ministers to further develop the BRICS country model and a list of potential partner countries and report back for the next summit.

The growing interest of other nations in joining the BRICS, according to Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is evidence of the group’s relevance. The BRICS now account for 46% of the world’s population and 37% of the world’s GDP, respectively. They will also keep their doors open to new participants. The growth and modernization of the group, according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is a message that all global institutions must adapt to changing times.”

The news of the members was warmly received in the United Arab Emirates. “We respect the objectives of the BRICS leaders and value the UAE’s membership in this important organization”. Following the statement, the President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed, said at X: “We look forward to a continued commitment to cooperation for the prosperity, dignity, and benefit of all nations and peoples of the world.”

In a post on X, Mohamed Jamshidi, the Iranian president’s deputy chief of staff for political affairs, referred to Tehran’s inclusion in the BRICS as “a strategic victory for Iran’s foreign policy.

The power of money

The potential new members will not only raise awareness about the BRICS bloc, but also provide coalition participants with the opportunity to do business with each other in local currency, according to Gustavo de Carvalho, a policy analyst and senior researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs. According to an official translation of the summit, Brazil’s Da Silva said on Thursday that the BRICS group is still investigating the potential of a block currency, which could “increase our options for [a] means of payment and reduce our vulnerabilities.”

AFP/ GIANLUIGI GUERCIA - El presidente brasileño Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (L), acompañado por la primera dama Rosangela Janja da Silva (R), llega a la Cumbre BRICS de 2023 en el Centro de Convenciones Sandton en Johannesburgo el 23 de agosto de 2023
AFP/ GIANLUIGI GUERCIA – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L), accompanied by First lady Rosangela Janja da Silva (R), arrives at the 2023 BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on August 23, 2023

“It’s not clear what will happen to the dynamics of the group at the moment, but it clearly creates a new space for trade within the Global South”. He added that many of the justifications in the statement “reflect the collective voice on the need for change from international institutions, especially international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and the WTO [World Trade Organization] about Carvalho”.

The BRICS countries have adopted different stances in their interactions with the West. While Russia is subject to a number of Western sanctions due to its invasion of Ukraine, trade and diplomatic tensions between the two countries have increased. “The ongoing conflicts in many parts of the world worry us. We stress our commitment to the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes through inclusive dialogue and consultation,” Ramaphosa said during a press conference on Thursday, without naming the conflicts in question.

PHOTO/AGENCIA DE PRENSA SAUDÍ - El rey Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud de Arabia Saudí preside una reunión gubernamental por videoconferencia
PHOTO/AGENCIA DE PRENSA SAUDÍ – Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud chairs government meeting via video conference

The difficulties presented by the new BRICS members differ. There are US sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program, and the recent fighting in Ethiopia has made some people worry about the stability of their own country. Egypt has experienced financial strains, and Argentina recently dramatically devalued its peso and raised interest rates following liberal Javier Milei’s surprising primary victory. While Riyadh continues to receive criticism from the West over its human rights record, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are actively pursuing growth in non-oil sectors.

Source : Atalayar