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Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE attend BRICS meeting in South Africa as bloc mulls expansion

Iran, which has applied for observer status in BRICS, is finessing non-Western states to remedy its battered economy. 
Foreign ministers of BRICS nations pose for a family photo with representatives from Africa and the global South during a summit in Cape Town, South Africa, June 2, 2023.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates foreign ministers attended the BRICS meeting in South Africa this week, as the bloc seeks to expand its membership to counterbalance Western powers. 

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the ministerial meeting of the BRICS nations on Thursday and held bilateral meetings on Friday. 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran are not members of the bloc, which is currently comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Iran submitted an application last year to join as an observer state. 

Saudi Arabia is in discussions to join BRICS' lender bank, the New Development Bank, the Financial Times reported this week. Created in 2014, the bank is seen as a counterweight to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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