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Thursday, October 5, 2023


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Foreign AffairsWestern Leaders Absent from Guest List for Upcoming BRICS Summit: A Blow to Diplomatic Dialogue?

Western Leaders Absent from Guest List for Upcoming BRICS Summit: A Blow to Diplomatic Dialogue?

Macron's Request to Attend BRICS Summit Denied, Reveals a Growing Divide between Western Countries and Developing Nations

France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, alongside other Western leaders, found themselves excluded from the guest list for the forthcoming BRICS summit scheduled for August. This unexpected revelation was reported by News24, quoting the BRICS’ South African representative, Professor Anil Suklal.

French media had earlier claimed Macron had requested South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to invite him to the summit. According to the report, this caught the South African leader by surprise.

On July 20, Suklal stated that invitations had been extended to representatives from 69 nations across the global South, including 54 African nations. This indicated a strong focus on Africa, Asia, and the developing Latin American countries. However, Western nations such as the USA, England, and France had not been invited. Regardless, Suklal emphasized that they “continue to interact” with the Western representatives.

The exclusion of Macron, a prominent Western leader, comes as a surprise. It is particularly significant given that Catherine Colonna, French Foreign Minister, confirmed Macron’s keen interest in “continuing the dialogue” with BRICS countries. She deemed the French President’s potential attendance at the summit as “a good idea”.

However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov rebuffed the French leader’s attempts to participate in the BRICS summit. In a statement, he said, “It is clear that the leader of a state that pursues such a hostile and unacceptable policy for us… is not suitable as a guest in the BRICS.”

Ryabkov’s remarks reference France’s alignment with NATO’s strategies, perceived as antagonistic to Russia. This stance suggests that BRICS, an association comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, seeks to maintain a distance from Western geopolitical influence.

Meanwhile, the BRICS summit will be held in Johannesburg towards the end of August. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will represent Russia, while President Vladimir Putin will attend via video link amidst concerns over a potential arrest order from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Amid these tensions, Anil Suklal, South African Sherpa in the BRICS organization, announced in July that over 20 states have formally applied to join the BRICS alliance. Among the potential new members are Argentina, Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. This points towards the bloc’s growing influence and may redefine the power dynamics in global politics.

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