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Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Egypt and Ethiopia join BRICS from 1st of January 2024

The BRICS alliance has widened its reach with the formal inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates.

This expansion officially took effect on January 1, 2024, signifying a broader footprint for the bloc within the Global South.

With these new additions, the BRICS consortium will now represent approximately 46% of the global population. Economically, it accounts for 30% of the world’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and holds sway over 37% of the global GDP concerning purchasing power parity.

However, it’s worth noting that Argentina’s recent president, Javier Milei, has retracted the country’s intended entry into the BRICS alliance.

These five nations received formal invitations to join during the August 2023 Johannesburg Summit, recognizing their significant economic potential and strategic importance within their respective regions.

Earlier, the Foreign Office (FO) announced that Pakistan has officially applied for membership in the BRICS group.

FO Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed the decision during her weekly press briefing, expressing Pakistan’s hope for progress in its application to join BRICS.

Baloch emphasized Pakistan’s amicable relations with most BRICS members and the newly invited countries.

The decision to seek BRICS membership comes after monitoring related developments in Johannesburg, according to Baloch. She highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to multilateralism and its active participation in various international organizations for global peace and development.

In an interview, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Russia, Muhammad Khalid Jamali, disclosed that Pakistan had submitted its application to join BRICS in 2024.

Jamali mentioned that Pakistan aims to join the group during Russia’s presidency and is seeking support from member countries, particularly the Russian Federation.

In August, BRICS had extended invitations to six countries, namely Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, to become new members. At that time, Baloch had clarified that Pakistan had not formally requested membership. Now, the official application signals Pakistan’s intent to be a part of this significant organization.

The recent BRICS summit in Johannesburg saw the group calling for an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce in Gaza. South Africa, as the chair, accused Israel of war crimes and “genocide” in the Palestinian territory. 

The group emphasized the need for a lasting truce, cessation of hostilities, and support for regional and international efforts to protect civilians and provide humanitarian aid.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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