Egypt and Ethiopia will join the BRICS group of nations, in a decision on expansion made at the 15th summit of leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and host South Africa.
The two African nations, often at odds with each other, will take up membership in January 2024. Also joining them will be Argentina, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, adding significant oil-producing economic power to the BRICS group.
“BRICS itself is a diverse group of nations,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, in remarks at the summit’s conclusion. “It is an equal partnership of countries that have differing views but have a shared vision for a better world.”
Ethiopian President Abiy Ahmed, who held meetings with China’s President Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (seen above with Abiy), called the decision a great moment for his nation.
“Inviting Egypt to join the BRICS confirms its growing role in the global economy and its ability to contribute to formulating a more inclusive and just international economic system,” said the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It’s one that “takes into account the interests and contributions of the emerging economies and peoples of the Global South.”
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the BRICS decision serves as an important counterweight to United States unilateralism, according to media reports. Raisi held meetings Thursday with Modi and Xi, and discussed Iran’s membership with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone.
Image: Ethiopia Presidency