Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other BRICS leaders will today hold a virtual meeting on the war between Israel and Hamas, in which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will also participate, the Associated Press reported.
The leaders of the other BRICS member countries Brazil, India and the Republic of South Africa (SAU), as well as the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, who are expected to be accepted into the bloc in January, also will participate in the meeting, announced the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa will chair the “extraordinary meeting” as the EU is currently the rotating BRICS chair, his office added. The leaders are expected to address the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza and are likely to adopt a joint statement.
The meeting comes a day after China’s top diplomat received the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Indonesia in Beijing, the first stop on a tour of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. . The meeting highlighted China’s longstanding support for the Palestinians and its growing geopolitical influence.
Russia has taken a more cautious approach to the war between Israel and Hamas, but it also has an opportunity to strengthen its role as a mediator on the world stage. Putin condemned the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on towns in southern Israel that triggered Israel’s offensive in Gaza. However, he also issued warnings to Israel over its response and over the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Russia and China are the leading voices in the BRICS organization, which in recent years has presented itself as an opponent of the dominance of the West in world affairs, AP commented. But it also has difficulty adopting unified policies or positions on many issues because of the different priorities of the five current member states.
India, which also wants to be seen as a leader in the developing world, has long tried to maintain a balance between Israel and the Palestinians and has close ties with both countries.
The RWA has strongly criticized Israel in connection with the war in Gaza and filed a claim with the International Criminal Court to investigate the Israeli side for alleged war crimes. South Africa has for years compared Israel’s policies in Gaza and the West Bank to the regime of apartheid and racial segregation.
South Africa’s parliament will today vote on a motion to close the Israeli embassy and cut ties with the country because of the war. Israel yesterday recalled its ambassador to South Africa for consultations.