Conflicting reports about Saudi Arabia joining the BRICS alliance on January 1, 2024, are making the rounds lately. Reuters reported that Saudi Arabia is yet to accept the BRICS invitation and the decision to join the bloc is pending. The report states that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not signed the BRICS agreement and is reevaluating the benefits of being a part of the alliance.
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Sources close to the development said that Jan. 1, 2024, is not the deadline for a decision. The timeline is much ahead giving countries that are invited ample time to discuss joining BRICS. Therefore, Saudi Arabia is still considering its options for joining BRICS and will conclude soon.
“Saudi Arabia is assessing the benefits and then will make a decision, there is a process happening,” said a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
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Faisal Alibrahim, Saudi Arabia’s economy minister also confirmed that the Kingdom has not joined BRICS yet. He explained that the Kingdom is going through an internal process and a decision will be made soon.
“The kingdom is a part of many multilateral platforms and multilateral institutions and whenever the kingdom is invited into one of them it goes through a process that is a multi-step process and at the end of it a decision is made. Right now we are in a similar process and I will comment at the end of it,” Alibrahim told Reuters.
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Why is Saudi Arabia Taking Time To Join BRICS?
Saudi Arabia is weighing options about joining BRICS in the backdrop of rising tensions between the US, China, and Russia. The Kingdom does not want to be in a disadvantaged situation and cut ties with the US and the West.
The Kingdom is also planning to open up the country to tourists similar to the United Arab Emirates. A misstep could prove costly for Saudi Arabia at a time when they’re aiming to partially liberalize the country.