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South Africa Chairs BRICS Meeting Over Israel-Gaza Conflict

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The South African presidency announced in a press release on Monday that South Africa will preside over an extraordinary virtual meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on Tuesday “on the situation in Gaza and the Middle East”.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, will take part, the Kremlin announced. On Tuesday at 12 p.m. GMT, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will call “an extraordinary joint meeting” to discuss the situation in Gaza in his capacity as “chairman of the BRICS group of nations.”

The leaders of the nations that were invited to join the group at its most recent summit in Johannesburg—Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the Arab Emirates—as well as the other BRICS heads of state will take part in this virtual gathering.

The Pretoria press release states that the president of South Africa will open this BRICS meeting. Each of the other member countries or guests should then speak. On Friday, the president of South Africa, along with four other states, requested an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Following this meeting, the leaders “are expected to adopt a joint declaration on the situation in the Middle East, in particular in Gaza.” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also be present.

Early in November, the South African government declared that it would bring back its diplomats stationed in Israel for talks in order to “signal” its “concern” over the alleged “atrocities” perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.

Since the country’s democratic transition, South Africa has been a steadfast supporter of the Palestinian cause, frequently drawing comparisons between the ANC’s historic fight against apartheid and that of the Palestinian people.

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