BRICS Summit: Six new countries joining the group as of January 2024

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Six new countries have joined the BRICS group consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Thursday during a BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Argentina and Ethiopia, as of January 1, 2024, will join the group of emerging countries seeking to enhance their influence in the world.

“We’ve decided to invite the Argentine Republic, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to become full members of the BRICS group,” Ramaphosa told the summit.

He added that the membership will enter into force as of January 1, 2024.

Calls to expand the BRICS group dominated the agenda at its three-day summit, exposing divisions among the bloc over the pace and criteria for accepting new members.

However, Ramaphosa said the group, which takes its decisions by consensus, has agreed on guiding principles, criteria and procedures for the BRICS enlargement process.

Nearly twenty countries have formally applied to join the group, which represents a quarter of the global economy and more than three billion people.

About 50 other heads of state and government will participate in the summit, which ends Thursday.

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