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8 Aug, 2023 19:01

South Africa to host over thirty heads of state at BRICS summit

The bloc does not promote an anti-Western agenda, despite seeking to expand membership, Pretoria's International Relations Minister has insisted
South Africa to host over thirty heads of state at BRICS summit

South African International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor told the media on Monday that 34 countries have confirmed their participation in the the 15th BRICS summit, which will take place in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24. The host's agenda will focus on expanding the bloc's membership and developing a BRICS currency to challenge the dominance of the US dollar, the minister added.

The widespread recognition of BRICS as a champion of the interests of the global south has drawn more nations to apply for membership, Pandor noted, emphasizing that the bloc’s collective economic power should be a “catalyst for sustainable global economic recovery,” .

The minister confirmed that the bloc has received membership applications from more than 20 nations, including Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran, which has long been sanctioned by the US, has also formally applied to join the five-nation economic group. To that end Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been invited by President Cyril Ramaphosa, with “consensus support” from other BRICS leaders, to the August summit.

“This is not by any means an intention to build some form of bloc that is anti-Western,” she said, insisting that "South Africa’s trading partners in the West are very important" to the country’s “economic progress.”