Over 40 Heads of State Will Attend BRICS Summit, South Africa Confirms
South Africa, the host of the BRICS summit this year, has confirmed that more than 40 heads of state will participate in the summit that will take place on Aug. 22-24. South Africa has also claimed that 23 countries have formally applied for BRICS membership.
40+ Heads of State to Participate in BRICS Summit
Nelson Kgwete, the South African foreign ministry’s media liaison officer, told Russian news outlet Tass that more than 40 heads of state have confirmed that they will participate in the BRICS summit that will take place on Aug. 22-24 in Johannesburg. South Africa is the host of the BRICS summit this year. He was quoted as saying:
Yes, confirmed, the summit will be attended by over 40 heads of state.
All leaders of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are expected to attend the summit. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend in person.
South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor recently stated that 23 countries have formally applied to join the BRICS economic bloc. They are Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba, Honduras, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Nigeria, State of Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia. However, at least one of the 23 countries, Morocco, has denied applying for BRICS membership.
Pandor further revealed that South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited 67 leaders of countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean to the summit. Moreover, 20 representatives of major international organizations have been invited, including the secretary-general of the United Nations, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the president of the New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS Bank.
Two key topics are expected to be discussed at the BRICS summit: the expansion of the economic bloc and the push to increase settlements using national currencies. In addition, some expect the topic of a common BRICS currency to be addressed at the summit. However, the top South African diplomat in charge of BRICS relations has said that the topic of a shared currency for the BRICS nations is not on the agenda to be discussed at the summit.
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