South Africa announces 67 countries invited to BRICS, not France
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor says 67 countries and 20 international organizations' representatives have been invited to attend the BRICS summit in South Africa.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor announced, on Monday, that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa invited a total of 67 country leaders and 20 representatives of international organizations to the BRICS summit taking place on August 22-24, but France's President Emmanuel Macron is not one of them.
In a statement, Pandor said "Emmanuel Macron - No invitation issued in that regard," adding that South Africa has "invited (with consensus support from his fellow BRICS Leaders) sixty-seven (67) Leaders from Africa and the global South to attend the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogues. The Leaders cover all the continents and regions of the global South."
The statement also underscored that "the President has also invited twenty (20) dignitaries that include the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the President of the New Development Bank, the Chairs and Executive Heads of African Regional Economic Communities, African financial institutions, and the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and CEO of the African Union Development Agency,"
As of now, only 34 countries have confirmed that they will be participating in the summit, Pandor said.
BRICS expansion to strengthen organization: Kremlin
According to Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, BRICS' expansion will strengthen the group, and the topic will be covered at the forthcoming summit in South Africa.
"We believe that in one form or another, the expansion of the BRICS will contribute to the further development and strengthening of this organization. The form, the extent [of the expansion] - this is exactly what we will discuss during the upcoming summit," Peskov told reporters on Thursday.
The BRICS group will examine the admission of new nations, including Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Peskov added.
"This is a matter [the enlargement of BRICS] of discussion, we do not think that we need to get ahead of ourselves and declare our position before a discussion between the BRICS member states. In any case, we are talking about countries with which we have quite constructive interaction in various fields," he said.
Although the introduction of a single BRICS currency is now unachievable, Peskov stated that does not imply the topic should not be addressed.
"It is hardly possible to implement, but this does not mean that it does not need to be discussed. Discussions on this matter, of course, will continue," he told reporters.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, on the same day, that he would attend the BRICS conference taking place in South Africa.
According to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's press office, the Brazilian President will also personally attend the BRICS leaders' meeting, which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from August 22 to 24.