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26 Jul, 2023 18:24

BRICS not interested in weaponization – South Africa

The bloc is a fresh forum that seeks to focus on peace, security, and development, Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor has told RT
BRICS not interested in weaponization – South Africa

Countries seeking to become members of BRICS are drawn to the bloc’s progressive ideals, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor told RT in an exclusive interview ahead of the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg. 

Pandor explained that the group of emerging economies, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is working to address key development issues such as peace and security in the member states. 

“We’re not standing against anyone; we’re not standing for anybody. We work for the good of the world. We’re not seeking to weaponize the oceans, we’re not seeking to weaponize the forest, and we’re not seeking to weaponize climate change,” she stressed. 

Without going into specifics, the diplomat stated that three new countries have joined the bloc, bringing the total membership to eight, describing the expansion as “fantastic.” 

Anil Sooklal, Pretoria’s ambassador-at-large in charge of relations with BRICS and Asian countries, previously stated that more than 40 countries want to join the bloc. Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are among these nations, according to Sooklal. 

Aside from the BRICS discussion, Pandor outlined her expectations for the Russia-Africa summit, which begins on Thursday and for which she is in St. Petersburg. 

She told RT that African leaders are participating in the forum to prioritize their relationship with Russia and to work together towards advancing the development goals of the continent.  

The diplomat also believes that the gathering will provide a platform for further discussions on the Africa Peace Mission, which is aimed at resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

Watch Pandor’s full interview as she talks more about Russia-Africa relations, the continent’s non-aligned stance, sovereignty, why it needs to be in charge of its natural resources, and Western powers coming to terms with the fact that Africa is a powerful part of the world.