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The BRICS leaders also decided to incorporate Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates into the group.
On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the BRICS group has agreed to admit Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran as full members of the bloc.
"As the five BRICS members, we have reached an agreement on the guiding principles, standards, criteria, and procedures for the BRICS expansion process," stated Ramaphosa on the final day of the 15th Summit of Heads of State and Government in Johannesburg.
He mentioned that there is consensus on the initial phase of this expansion process and noted that those countries will become full members of BRICS starting from January 1, 2024.
The expansion announcement was made by Ramaphosa together with Lula da Silva (Brazil), Xi Jinping (China), Narendra Modi (India), and Sergey Lavrov (Russia).
BOMBSHELL: Bloomberg reports oil superpower Saudi Arabia���� is set to join BRICS.
Following the words of the South African leader, President Lula da Silva welcomed the new members to the BRICS and emphasized that the diversity of the group strengthens the pursuit of a new order that aligns with the economic and political plurality of the 21st century.
On his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping labeled the expansion of the bloc as a "new starting point" for interaction within the BRICS framework and declared it a "historic day" for the group.
According to Xi Jinping, inviting new members demonstrates the BRICS countries' determination to expand their international presence.
Brazil, Russia, India, and China established the BRICS group in 2006, with South Africa joining in 2010, adding the letter 'S' to the acronym.
Currently this economic bloc represents over 42 percent of the world's population, 23 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and 18 percent of the international trade.