South Africa says more than 40 nations expressed interest to join BRICS

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South Africa says more than 40 nations expressed interest to join BRICS

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira (L), South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor (C) and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attend a press conference as BRICS foreign ministers meet in Cape Town, South Africa, June 1, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

More than 40 countries have already expressed their desire to join the BRICS group of nations, South Africa says, as the bloc prepares to hold a summit next month.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, South Africa’s Ambassador to BRICS Anil Sooklal said that 22 countries have so far formally asked to join the bloc.

Furthermore, there is “an equal number of countries that have informally expressed interest in becoming BRICS members … (including) all the major global south countries,” he added.

Sooklal’s remarks come as a BRICS summit is due to take place in Johannesburg between August 22 and 24.

Iran, Venezuela, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Argentina are among the list of the nations that have either formally applied to join or expressed interest.

BRICS is an acronym for the current members of the group, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Since the establishment of the bloc in 2006, member countries have achieved beneficial results in areas such as economy, trade, politics, security, technological innovations, as well as social and cultural exchanges.

The group’s members host around half of the world’s population besides representing one-fifth of the global economy.

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