Brics invites UAE to join bloc; Sheikh Mohamed vows cooperation 'for benefit of all nations'

The country is among six countries to be invited to become new members of the bloc


Sahim Salim

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Published: Thu 24 Aug 2023, 12:14 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Aug 2023, 10:47 PM

The UAE President has appreciated the BRICS leadership for including the Emirates as a member to “this important group”. BRICS is an acronym for the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The bloc agreed at its annual summit Thursday to make the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia and Iran full members from January 1.

Taking to microblogging platform X, formerly Twitter, the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, posted: “We look forward to a continued commitment of cooperation for the prosperity, dignity and benefit of all nations and people around the world.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said the move is testament to the country’s balanced foreign policy.

The UAE’s inclusion in the bloc is in line with its philosophy based on building positive international multilateral partnerships, the leader added. It consolidates the UAE’s “international economic and trade position as a reliable partner linking the world's north with its south and east with west”.

“The UAE will continue its approach based on supporting global peace, security and development,” Sheikh Mohammed posted on X.

Reuters reported that the debate over expanding the BRICS bloc topped the agenda at the three-day summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, said the country’s inclusion in the bloc highlights how it has solidified its position as a global hub for trade and economic development; strengthened international partnerships and supported long-term economic prosperity through innovative strategies.

“The UAE continues its endeavours to build a sustainable economy and explore new opportunities in accordance with the visions of our leadership, to ensure the prosperity of its people and the world as a whole,” he posted on X.

High-level UAE delegation

Photo: Wam
Photo: Wam

The UAE had a strong presence at the summit. Led by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the high-level UAE delegation included Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; and a number of top officials.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, had taken part at the ‘Friends of BRICS’ Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cape Town in June 2023.

Set up in 2009, BRICS has become an influential voice for more representation of the developing world and the Global South — a broad term for non-Western nations — in world affairs. According to AP, it currently represents around 40 per cent of the world's population and more than a quarter of the world's GDP, “although that is set to increase with the new members, which include three of the world's biggest oil producers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran”.

New horizons of growth

Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, said the Emirates’ inclusion in the bloc reflects the strength of the country’s economy, the effectiveness of its diplomacy, the world’s confidence in its vision of prosperity and stability, and “our commitment to strengthening and diversifying our relations and partnerships to serve sustainable development”.

“The UAE is moving forward towards new horizons of growth and renaissance,” he posted on X.

The UAE understands the critical importance of the BRICS initiative as a mechanism to promote global peace, stability, and prosperity. It has long been a close partner. In October 2021, the country joined the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which was established to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets, developing countries, and BRICS nations.

A champion of multilateralism, the UAE actively contributes to important international arenas — from engaging with BRICS to regularly participating in the G20 process. The Emirates will host UN climate change conference COP28 later this year.

(With inputs from AFP)


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