Leaders of some of the world’s most populous countries are gathering for a summit in Johannesburg that begins on Tuesday.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote on X (formerly Twitter) before the meeting: “South Africa’s goal in international relations is to seek increased cooperation and secure greater business opportunities and greater investment.”
Ramaphosa also hopes the meeting will “promote peace and democracy”.
new member states
China, India, Brazil and Russia want to regain their strength in the so-called BRICS grouping with host country South Africa.
Among other things, the five countries will discuss the possibility of trading a currency that would rival the US dollar. Countries must also consider whether to expand the BRICS region, named after the initials of the member states. About 40 countries are showing interest.
The group, officially their fifteenth, is an attempt to revive a collaboration that began in 2009 but has made little impact in the past decade.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping traveled to South Africa on Monday, as did Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Putin is absent
On the other hand, Russia is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. President Vladimir Putin is participating via video, as he is unable to travel to South Africa due to an international arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The meeting between nations, which together account for about 42 percent of the world’s population, is supposed to demonstrate a new geopolitical force in world politics.
But the big question preceding the meeting is whether the five countries — three democracies and two authoritarian regimes — can come together on a common economic and political platform.
The meeting lasts for two days.
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