BRICS recruited six new members, some of which are Muslim countries in the Middle East. Photo/REUTERS
JAKARTA – BRICS, a block of 5 countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has officially invited six new members. The six countries are Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Ethiopia.
Of the six countries that were recruited, three of them were Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran and the UAE).
In an era of emergence of multipolarity, BRICS’ move to engage Muslim countries in the Middle East is not surprising because they are no exception to being part of the changing world order.
The BRICS has been seen as a counterbalance to the G-7 bloc (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States).
The BRICS expansion rests on the group’s desire for a global equalizer that they view as rigged.
The bloc will soon invite more members who are chosen based on their geopolitical interests rather than their ideology. At least that was the recognition of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva when the BRICS announced six new members.
Balance Through BRICS
The UAE has accepted the BRICS offer. Analysts say Iran and Egypt are also expected to accept invitations, likely backed by financial interests.
Saudi Arabia is still considering the invitation, but is likely to agree, as it seeks to balance its relationship with the United States and developing countries such as China, analysts predict.
According to analysts, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strong alliance with the US has weakened on several fronts. The country’s entry into the BRICS would be a divisive one—but it is far from breaking the bond between the two countries.