A period of uncertainty surrounding Saudi Arabia’s participation in the BRICS alliance has finally come to an end. Following an initial hesitation, the Kingdom, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Iran, has officially confirmed its membership in the emerging economies bloc. This development marks a significant milestone for BRICS, bolstering its global influence and economic clout.
Initially invited alongside five other nations during the 2023 BRICS summit, Saudi Arabia’s decision to join wasn’t immediate. Concerns arose in early 2024 as the Kingdom remained noncommittal, citing the need to evaluate the geopolitical implications of the alliance.
This delay fueled speculation about a potential rejection, particularly considering Saudi Arabia’s longstanding ties with the US, a perceived counterpoint to BRICS’ ambitions.
However, those concerns have been laid to rest. South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent confirmation cemented Saudi Arabia’s inclusion, solidifying the expansion of the alliance from its original five members to ten.
This strategic move holds considerable weight, given Saudi Arabia’s economic prowess and its potential to contribute to BRICS’ de-dollarization initiatives.
While Argentina opted out of the alliance following a change in government, the addition of these five new members marks a significant chapter in BRICS’ evolution. As the bloc seeks to strengthen its position as a counterweight to established global powers and advocate for the Global South, Saudi Arabia’s involvement, with its vast oil reserves and economic influence, adds a dynamic and potentially transformative dimension to this ongoing narrative.
It remains to be seen how this expanded alliance will navigate internal differences and translate its growing influence into concrete actions. However, one thing is certain: the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and other rising economies has injected fresh energy and strategic depth into the BRICS project, potentially reshaping the global economic and political landscape in the years to come.