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South Africa: 22 countries ‘officially requested’ to join BRICS group

July 21, 2023 at 2:06 pm

In this photo illustration, the BRICS logo. [Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

Some 22 countries have “formally” asked to join the BRICS group, while an equal number has informally expressed interest in joining the bloc, South Africa announced yesterday.

BRICS, a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is due to hold a summit from 22-24 August in South Africa and has previously hinted that it was open to expansion.

South Africa’s top diplomat in charge of relations with the bloc, Anil Sooklal,  told reporters in Johannesburg that 22 countries have officially asked to join the BRICS group while there was “an equal number of countries have informally expressed interest in becoming BRICS members … [including] all the major global south countries.”

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He explained that the increased interest in the bloc is “not something new”, but indicates “confidence” in the work carried out by BRICS since its inception in 2009.

He added that BRICS is not just “a political force” that “attempts to change the fault lines in global politics, but also aims to “change what is happening in the economic space at the global level.”

“The current global structure is still unequal and continues to marginalise developing countries (…) and is still dominated by a few. We do not want a similar world. We want a world where our voices are heard,” he told AFP.

It has previously been reported that BRICS is discussing including Saudi Arabia and Iran into the bloc. Along with Riyadh and Tehran, Algeria also applied join BRICS last year, with Turkiye and Egypt expected to become additional members soon.

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