Pretoria and Moscow confirmed on Monday, November 20, that South Africa will hold a virtual summit of the BRICS group of countries, which includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday, November 21, to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—are a collection of significant developing economies that aim to transform the global order now dominated by the US and the global West.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa will host the “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East Situation in Gaza” on Tuesday with the aim of formulating a shared response to the over-six-week conflict.
In an effort to develop a coordinated response to the never-ending war in Gaza, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will hold the “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East Situation in Gaza.”
Leaders from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates are expected to attend the meeting, as they are all scheduled to join the BRICS group in January 2024.
In a statement, Ramaphosa announced that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also participate in the virtual summit. The announcement also stated that all five BRICS presidents of state will participate in the virtual summit, following which a joint statement with specific reference to Gaza is expected.
According to officials in the Hamas-run territory, the retaliatory air and ground offensive in Gaza has killed about 13,300 people, more than 5,500 of whom were children.
South Africa, a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause under the African National Congress (ANC) party, last Thursday backed a parliamentary motion to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until a ceasefire in Gaza is reached, blaming the Israeli regime’s genocidal actions. The country has also joined four other nations in calling for an International Criminal Court investigation into the Israel-Hamas war.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, accused the West of escalating the unending tensions in the Middle East and criticised Israel for its actions in the conflict.