Saudi Arabia has not yet joined BRICs: Minister

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Saudi Arabia has not yet officially joined the BRICs bloc of developing countries, the Kingdom’s minister of commerce said in a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.

“Saudi Arabia has been invited to attend BRICs, we have not yet officially joined BRICs,” Majid al-Kasabi said in a first comment from Saudi officials after the proposed joining date of Jan. 1 passed.

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The comment also clarified the Kingdom’s position after Saudi state TV reported earlier this month that the Kingdom had joined the bloc, only to remove the reports from its social media accounts later.

The Saudi government did not immediately respond to a request seeking more details.

The group of nations, which includes Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa, invited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Argentina, and Ethiopia to join in August, although Argentina signaled it would not take up the invitation in November.

Saudi Arabia’s consideration of the offer comes with a backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions between the US and China, and as the Kingdom’s warming ties with Beijing have caused concern in Washington.

Despite continued strong ties with the US, Saudi Arabia has increasingly pursued its own path out of concern that Washington is less committed to the Gulf’s security than in the past.

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