The five-nation group of emerging economies known as #BRICS, which views itself as a counterweight to the West, has invited six more countries to join — most of them from the #MiddleEast — during its summit in #Johannesburg this week.
The choices by the current members — #Brazil, #Russia, #India, #China and #SouthAfrica — contained a few surprises, the biggest being the addition of #Iran, which joined two other Middle Eastern states: #SaudiArabia, and the #UnitedArabEmirates. #Argentina #Egypt and #Ethiopia rounded out the half-dozen nations tapped for inclusion, while #Indonesia, which was thought to be among the top candidates for admission, did not make the cut.
The expansion was a victory for China’s leader, #XiJinping, who strongly backed the rapid addition of new members. But Prime Minister #NarendraModi of India was said to be concerned about adding nations close to #Beijing; India and China have border disputes and tend to consider each other potential adversaries.
Here is a look at some of the new BRICS members.
Not long ago, Ethiopia was the rising star of #AFRICA — one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, led by Abiy Ahmed, a dynamic young #leader who had won a #NobelPeacePrize.
But two years of civil war in the #Tigray region ruined most of that. The economy tanked, the United States cut trade privileges and suspended food aid to Ethiopia, and Abiy has struggled to hold together a volatile nation.
Although the Tigray conflict ended last November, Abiy’s forces have begun a new fight with powerful militias in another region.