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The Balance is Changing in the Middle East: Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, UAE, and Egypt Accepted into BRICS Membership

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, the host of the 15th BRICS summit, announced the new members under BRICS’ first expansion plan during a press conference held in Johannesburg.

Ramaphosa stated that as of January 1, 2024, Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to full BRICS membership. It was alleged on South African radio that Turkey has also officially applied for BRICS membership.

Iran, which has strong relations with South Africa, has long lobbied for BRICS membership. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has shown interest in BRICS due to exporting a significant portion of its oil to China. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have approached BRICS countries due to the diminishing influence of the United States and the West in the Middle East.

During the media conference, attended by approximately two thousand journalists, BRICS leaders individually read their media statements and expressed their satisfaction with the new members.

Russian President Putin said the following during this morning’s BRICS Africa Support and BRICS Political Parties Plus Dialogue session: “BRICS is not competing with any organization, but it represents a new, independent, rising world. We are currently living in a new colonial world. The current world order threatens everyone. BRICS countries are establishing a multilateral world order…”

According to information reported in the media, China exerted significant pressure for Pakistan to be admitted to BRICS, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prevented Pakistan from becoming a member. Modi proposed that the African Union should join the G-20.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his speech: “China will always stand by developing countries. World nations should focus on the UN’s 2030 development goals. We are carrying out over 200 development programs in Africa. We emphasize green energy and new industrial development methods. China is a friend of Africa. In the past 10 years, we have built 6,000 km of railways and 6,000 km of roads in Africa… And we have signed many technology agreements with Africa.”

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the UN’s development goals. Guterres noted that the current world order was built under the influence of colonial powers after World War II, and as a result, Africa is not adequately represented in international organizations. He emphasized the need for a multipolar new world order.

Leaders from approximately 70 countries, most of which are African nations, are giving speeches throughout the day. Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is one of the prominent figures at the summit.

This new article written by Turkmen Terzi was first pubished in TR724.com and was translated into English by Politurco.

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Turkmen Terzi is a journalist, researcher and political commentator focusing on International Relations and Political Science based in South Africa.

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