Throughout 2023, one of the most important geopolitical developments was the expansion of the BRICS alliance. During its 2023 annual summit, it announced its first expansion effort since 2001, when it introduced South Africa. Specifically, the alliance had invited six different countries from across the globe.
Since those invitations were granted, Argentina had declined amid a regime change. Moreover, questions had begun to surface about Saudi Arabia’s intentions to join. The country’s insistence that it was still considering joining in 2024 led many to worry that a rejection was possible.
However, that is proven not to be the case, as Saudi Arabia has officially joined the BRICS alliance. Specifically, South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor confirmed the five other invitees had accepted. Therefore, Saudi Arabia would be joining the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Ethiopia, and Iran in the alliance.
“To the BRICS confirmations, five out of the six confirmed. That is Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ethiopia, Iran… and Egypt,” Pando said at a news conference. “Argentina has written to indicate that they will not act on this successful application by the previous administration to become full members of BRIFS, and we accept their decision.”
Saudi Arabia had long been viewed as a key participant in the alliance’s plans. However, its close ties with the United States threatened the outcome of the invitation. Yet, they have not been confirmed to join the bloc, and are likely to embrace the de-dollarization plans that have become the focus of the collective.