BRICS leaders agree to expand bloc

BRICS leaders agree to expand bloc

Major announcement to be made before conclusion of 3-day summit in Johannesburg, says South Africa's top diplomat

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – BRICS leaders agreed on Wednesday to expand the five-state bloc's membership, and a major announcement will be made before the conclusion of the three-day summit in Johannesburg, South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pando said.

“As the president indicated earlier today, we have agreed on the matter of expansion. We have a document that we have adopted and set out guidelines and principles of processes for considering countries that wish to become members of BRICS,” Pandor said in an interview with Ubuntu Radio, which is run by the Foreign Ministry.

The minister said a more detailed announcement will be made by BRICS leaders before the conclusion of the summit on Thursday.

More than 20 countries have expressed interest in joining the bloc of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

BRICS leaders are currently meeting behind closed doors in Johannesburg for the bloc's 15th summit.

The BRICS summit started on Tuesday and will conclude on Thursday with leaders announcing some of the issues they have agreed on which could include the admission of new members and the possibility of having their own currency.

Some of those interested in joining the block include oil giants Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates among others.

- Inclusive bloc ​​​​​​​

In his address on Wednesday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the bloc is an inclusive formation of developing and emerging economies that are working together to benefit from their rich histories, cultures, and systems in order to advance common prosperity.

“We do so because we know that poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment are the biggest challenges facing humankind,” he said.

Ramaphosa said BRICS is committed to advancing the interests of the global south and is ready to collaborate with all countries seeking to create a more inclusive international order.

“We are confident that this 15th BRICS summit will enrich and inspire our work towards the achievement of a more humane global community,” he said.

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