• The group has welcomed five new members, with further expansion expected later this year

RIYADH (Agencies): Saudi Arabia on Tuesday officially announced that it has joined the BRICS+ group, with the news carried by state TV.

Riyadh has been in negotiations on its accession to the group for months, with Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan stating last August that all the details on the move would be evaluated before an “appropriate decision” was taken.

At the time, the foreign minister said the BRICS group was “a beneficial and important channel” for bolstering economic cooperation between member countries.

The group, which until January 1 included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, welcomed five new members on New Year’s Day. Apart from Saudi Arabia, it now includes Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the UAE. Another prospective member, Argentina, made an abrupt U-turn on its accession plans after the presidential election in the country was won by Javier Milei late last year.

The group is expected to grow even larger later this year, with Venezuela seeking to become a permanent member at the next summit in Russia in October 2024.

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