South Africa will chair an extraordinary virtual meeting of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) on Tuesday “on the situation in Gaza and the Middle East”, the South African presidency announced in a press release on Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate, the Kremlin said. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, “as chairman of the BRICS group of nations”, convenes “an extraordinary joint meeting” on the situation in Gaza on Tuesday at 12 p.m. GMT.
The other heads of state of the BRICS will participate in this virtual meeting, as well as the leaders of the countries invited, during the recent summit of the group in Johannesburg, to join it next January, namely Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the Arab Emirates combined.
The South African president, who on Friday requested an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the current war between Israel and the Gaza Strip, along with four other states, will open this BRICS meeting, where each of the other member countries or guests, should then speak, specifies the Pretoria press release.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also participate in this meeting, after which the leaders “are expected to adopt a joint declaration on the situation in the Middle East, in particular in Gaza”.
The South African government announced in early November that it would recall its diplomats stationed in Israel for consultations, to “signal” its “concern” about the “atrocities” committed, according to it, by Israel in Gaza.
Pretoria has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, with the ANC, its ruling party since the advent of democracy in the country, often drawing parallels with its own historic struggle against apartheid.