A Saudi official told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is still considering an invitation to join the BRICS bloc, after being invited to join the group last year.
The source made this statement after South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday that the Kingdom had joined the group.
The Saudi official said in a statement to Reuters, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not yet responded to the invitation to join BRICS. This is still under study.”
In August, the group invited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Argentina and Ethiopia to join the group as of January 1, but Argentina indicated it would not accept the invitation in November.
An expansion of the BRICS group, whose current members include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, would give it more economic clout and could also boost its stated ambition to become the leader of the Global South, helping to reshape a world order deemed outdated.
Faisal Al-Ibrahim, the Saudi Minister of Economy, said this month that the kingdom was still analyzing the issue.
Riyadh is considering its options against the backdrop of escalating geopolitical tensions between the United States, China and Russia, and at a time when the Kingdom’s deep relations with Beijing have raised concern in Washington.
The United Arab Emirates, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said it had joined the bloc.
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