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ECONOMY | 29-12-2023 20:38

Argentina formally rejects BRICS membership

President Javier Milei send letters to BRICS leaders to formalise his decision to reject an invitation to join the grouping.

President Javier Milei has sent letters to BRICS leaders to formalise his decision to reject an invitation to join the grouping of major emerging economies.

The news was confirmed by Argentina's Presidency on Friday via Spokesperson Manuel Adorni.

The bloc – made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in August announced it was admitting six new members in a bid to counter the Western-led global order.

Former president Alberto Fernández's government had pushed hard for Argentina's acceptance to the group, which represents 24 percent of global GDP and 42 percent of the world's population.

The membership of Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates was due to take effect from January 1, 2024.

China, which represents about 70 percent of the bloc's GDP, was the one that drove its expansion, seeking to position the BRICS as a counter-balance to the influence of the United States and the European Union.

The letters signed by Milei and published by several media outlets on Friday said Argentina's membership was "not considered appropriate at this time."

Libertarian outsider Milei took office earlier this month after his resounding defeat of Argentina's traditional political parties, and he had vowed on the campaign trail not to join BRICS.

In his letters he said his foreign policy "differs in many aspects from that of the previous government."

"In this sense, some decisions made by the previous administration will be reviewed," it continued. "Among them is the creation of a specialised unit for the country's active participation in BRICS."

During his election campaign, Milei said "our geopolitical alignment is with the United States and Israel. We are not going to ally with communists."

Despite vowing to cut ties with major trading partners China and Brazil, he has taken a more conciliatory tone since coming to office.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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