Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to join China and Russia in BRICS economic bloc, as 6 new nations added

Johannesburg (AP) – In a significant development, Iran and Saudi Arabia have been included as members of the BRICS economic bloc, along with Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This announcement, made on Thursday, is expected to bring further attention to China’s growing political influence in the Persian Gulf.

The expansion of the BRICS bloc will also see the inclusion of the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia as new members starting from 2024.

Established in 2009, BRICS was formed as a collective of emerging market economies and has since emerged as a prominent advocate for increased representation of the developing world and the Global South in global affairs.

It currently represents around 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s GDP, although that is set to increase with the new members, which include three of the world’s biggest oil producers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran.

The organization referred to in the statement is undoubtedly the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, commonly known as OPEC. OPEC plays a significant role in the global economy, not only due to its large population but also because of its substantial contribution to the world’s GDP.

With its current membership, OPEC already represents around 40% of the world’s population. This means that a significant portion of the global population is directly impacted by the policies and decisions made by OPEC.

Moreover, the organization also holds considerable influence over the world’s economy, accounting for more than a quarter of the world’s GDP.

This demonstrates the organization’s ability to shape global economic dynamics and exert substantial control over the oil market.

However, OPEC’s influence is set to increase even further with the addition of new members. Notably, three of the world’s biggest oil producers – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran – have recently joined or are in the process of joining OPEC.

These countries possess vast oil reserves and have a significant impact on global oil prices. As a result, their inclusion in OPEC will undoubtedly strengthen the organization’s position and further solidify its role as a key player in the global oil market.

The addition of these new members also highlights the strategic importance of OPEC. As oil producers, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran have the potential to influence global energy dynamics and have a direct impact on the world’s energy security.

By being part of OPEC, these countries can collaborate with other member nations to coordinate production levels and stabilize oil prices.

This ensures a more balanced and predictable oil market, benefiting both producers and consumers alike.

In conclusion, OPEC’s current representation of around 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s GDP underscores its significant influence and importance in the global economy.

With the inclusion of major oil producers like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran, OPEC’s role is set to expand further, solidifying its position as a key player in the global oil market and shaping the future of the world’s energy landscape.

Recently, there has been growing speculation about whether BRICS is shifting towards an anti-West stance due to the influence of China and Russia.

This speculation has arisen as a result of China’s deteriorating relationship with the United States and Russia’s standoff with the West over the war in Ukraine.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the political deputy of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, hailed the decision to include Iran as a member of BRICS as a historic move.

He expressed his congratulations to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the great nation of Iran, considering it a strategic victory for Iran’s foreign policy. This statement was made on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

During the BRICS summit held in the financial district of Sandton in Johannesburg, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who currently chairs the bloc, announced the inclusion of six new members. This decision marked the culmination of the summit’s proceedings.

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Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the summit alongside South African President Ramaphosa for an important announcement. The topic of discussion revolved around the expansion of membership within the BRICS countries.

President Xi Jinping emphasized the significance of this historic expansion, stating that it reflects the determination of BRICS countries for unity and development.

He further highlighted China’s unwavering support for developing nations throughout the years, emphasizing their commitment to standing in solidarity with them.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin was unable to attend the summit in person due to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in March.

The warrant was related to the alleged abduction of children from Ukraine. Despite his absence, President Putin virtually participated in the summit, while Russia was represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during the announcement in Johannesburg.

The potential inclusion of Saudi Arabia as a new member had been widely discussed, given the likelihood of a consensus among the current five BRICS members.

On the other hand, the inclusion of Iran had raised concerns due to potential political implications. While China and Russia advocated for expansion, Brazil, India, and South Africa, owing to their strong bilateral ties with the United States, only recently gave their approval to the expansion.

Overall, this development signifies a momentous step for the BRICS countries, showcasing their commitment to unity and progress.

The recent expansion of BRICS was finalized after two days of talks in Johannesburg, with all current members agreeing on the final details. The idea of expanding the organization had been in the works for over a year, according to President Ramaphosa.

The discussions among the BRICS leaders began on Tuesday night in Johannesburg and continued throughout most of the day on Wednesday, as they worked to iron out the remaining details. As a consensus-based organization, all members must come to an agreement on policies.

This is not the first time BRICS has decided to expand. Originally formed in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, South Africa joined the bloc in 2010.

In response to the BRICS announcement, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the leader of the United Arab Emirates, expressed his support and welcomed the expansion.

He referred to it as an “important group” and emphasized the importance of cooperation for the benefit of all nations and people worldwide.

Overall, the expansion of BRICS marks a significant development in international relations and highlights the commitment of its members to promote prosperity and dignity on a global scale.

Until recently, the idea of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates being part of the same economic or political organization seemed impossible due to escalating tensions.

These tensions were a result of the collapse of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal and a series of attacks attributed to Iran.

However, with the receding of the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE took the lead in reestablishing diplomatic engagement with Iran. This move came in response to missile attacks on Abu Dhabi that were claimed by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen.

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced a separate détente with the help of Chinese mediation. China has been actively seeking closer relations with all three nations, especially Iran, as it has been importing oil from Iran since the collapse of the nuclear deal.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also maintained relations with Russia during Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine. This has caused concern for the United States, which has traditionally provided security guarantees for these major oil-producing nations.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi expressed his country’s commitment to cooperate and coordinate with other members in order to achieve the economic goals of the organization and to amplify the voice of the Global South.

Overall, the inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the same organization was previously unthinkable, but recent developments indicate a shift in diplomatic engagements and a potential for increased cooperation in the future.

The news of Ethiopia’s recovery and growth following the devastating two-year conflict in the Tigray region has also served as a significant boost for the country.

As Africa’s second most populous nation and one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent, Ethiopia has been working tirelessly to reengage with global partners and financial institutions.

The conflict had caused extensive damage amounting to billions of dollars, leaving the Ethiopian government in dire need of support. In response to the pressure from the United States and the European Union, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sought assistance from other key players on the global stage.

China, Russia, and several Gulf nations have stepped up to provide the necessary support and help Ethiopia rebuild and recover.

This news has brought renewed hope and optimism for the Ethiopian government as it strives to rebuild its relationships with key international partners. he country’s economic growth and development heavily rely on fostering strong alliances and collaborations with global players.

With the support of countries like China, Russia, and the Gulf nations, Ethiopia can tap into new opportunities and resources to accelerate its economic growth and development.

Furthermore, this news is not only significant for Ethiopia but also for the entire African continent. As one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, Ethiopia’s recovery and resurgence serve as a beacon of hope for other nations facing similar challenges.

It demonstrates that with the right support and determination, countries can overcome adversity and emerge stronger than ever.

In conclusion, the news of Ethiopia’s recovery and its efforts to reengage with global partners and financial institutions is a major boost for the country.

By seeking support from nations like China, Russia, and the Gulf nations, Ethiopia is positioning itself for rapid economic growth and development. This positive development not only benefits Ethiopia but also inspires other African nations to strive for resilience and progress in the face of challenges.