French President Emmanuel Macron’s request for an invite to the BRICS summit in August signals a rift within the US-led Group of Seven industrialized economies.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna confirmed Tuesday that President Macron is interested in attending the Johannesburg BRICS summit as an observer at the upcoming meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
As the world changes, BRICS is becoming more and more important globally. The bloc accounts for over 40% of global GDP and more than a half of the world’s population.
At least a dozen regional heavyweights representing the Arab world and the Global South have announced bids to join the five-nation group, which is united by its vision of a multi-polar world, as opposed to the US-promoted rules-based order.
Macron wants to see for himself where the BRICS is going, but added that it would be difficult for Paris to break free from Washington’s dominance.
Macron sparked anger in the USA in April when he said during a trip to Beijing that Europe should not be a “vassal” in Washington’s standoff with China and suggested that many Europeans saw the need for strategic autonomy.
Macron’s proposal has been met with a mixed reaction from BRICS, with South African International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor calling the idea a departure from ordinary practice.
She said President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current BRICS chair, would be the one making the decision on whether the French president will attend, but Russia has argued that Macron’s participation would be inappropriate, given Paris’ hostile policy toward Moscow.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.