BRICS Invites 70 Countries to Summit as Countries Focus on De-Dollarization

The BRICS economic bloc has invited 69 leaders to its upcoming summit, including all African heads of state and the political heads of major Global South bodies. More than 40 countries have expressed interest to join the BRICS group, with 22 nations already having submitted official applications. “We’ve never had such a large outreach,” said South Africa’s diplomat in charge of BRICS relations.

69 Leaders Invited to BRICS Summit

The upcoming BRICS summit is expected to be the largest yet, with 69 invitations already sent out, City Press reported. South Africa is hosting this year’s summit, which is scheduled to take place in Johannesburg from Aug. 22 to 24. The BRICS economic bloc comprises Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa.

The South African diplomat in charge of BRICS relations, Anil Sooklal, has revealed that all 54 African heads of state and the leaders of major Global South bodies have been invited to the summit. However, Western countries including the U.S., U.K., and France have not been invited. Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed interest in attending the BRICS summit but was met with opposition from Russia.

Noting that many heads of state have been calling South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to request invitations to the BRICS summit, Sooklal said at a press briefing last week:

President Ramaphosa took a decision to invite the entire [African] continent to the BRICS Plus [summit] as well as all of the political heads of the major Global South bodies. So, in total about 69 leaders have been invited.

According to Sooklal, President Ramaphosa’s decision to invite all African leaders to the BRICS summit was driven by the bloc’s involvement in Africa. South Africa recognized the importance of using its chairmanship to foster development on the continent, with a specific focus on advancing the continental free trade agreement, he explained.

“We’ve never had such a large outreach,” Sooklal stressed, noting that this year’s summit will be the largest. In comparison, he shared: “In 2018, we had the entire Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) heads of state present as well as leaders of the global south.”

Sooklal emphasized that the interest in participating in the summit demonstrated a vote of confidence from global leaders in the BRICS bloc. He clarified that while the group did not invite Western countries to its summit, the BRICS nations engage with the global community to address common issues.

The South African diplomat also said last week that more than 40 countries are interested in joining the BRICS group, with 22 countries already having submitted formal applications. He also revealed that discussions at the summit will include “deepening interaction in trading in local currencies.” He emphasized: “Countries want to have greater flexibility and to be less dependent on the dollar.”

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