Saudi Arabia Declines BRICS Sherpas Meeting

Vinod Dsouza
saudi rabia flag country brics
Source: / ShutterStock

Saudi Arabia will not be attending the ongoing BRICS Sherpas meeting which is scheduled from January 30 to February 1, 2024. Russia is hosting the BRICS Sherpas meeting and delegates from nine countries are attending the event, except Saudi Arabia. Delegates from BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, the UAE, Egypt, Iran, and Ethiopia are present, while Saudi Arabia has given the Sherpas meeting a miss.

Read here to know why Saudi Arabia plans to reject BRICS membership in the coming weeks. The Kingdom does not want to risk alienating the West after it recently decided to open its borders to tourism.

Also Read: BRICS: UAE Pays China With New Digital Dirham, Ditches US Dollar

Why Saudi Arabia Declined BRICS Sherpas Meeting?

Saudi Arabia King MBS Mohammed Bin Salman
Source: (Bandar Aljaloud / Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia will not attend the BRICS Sherpas meeting due to “technical issues”. The Minister did not elaborate on what the technical issue is and brushed aside further media questions

Also Read: BRICS: Russia Building New Payment System Without U.S. Dollar

However, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Ryabkov spilled the beans providing details about Saudi Arabia’s absence. “Our counterparts from Saudi Arabia have already attended events linked to BRICS, including after joining the group on January 1. There can be different reasons for Saudi Arabia’s not attending the Sherpa meeting, but it is a technical issue,” said Ryabkov.

Reading between the lines, Ryabkov said that Saudi Arabia had previously attended BRICS meetings but gave this one a miss. The reason for Saudi Arabia to miss the BRICS Sherpas meeting could be “different reasons”. Nonetheless, the statement is not convincing enough and indicates that Saudi Arabia might be evaluating options to join or not join BRICS.

Also Read: BRICS Expansion a Threat To SWIFT Payment System & US Dollar

While every country joined BRICS on January 1, 2024, through the expansion, Saudi Arabia is yet to submit its decision. Also, Argentina was the first country to reject BRICS membership as the newly-elected President Javier Milei is skeptical about the bloc. Read here to know why Argentina declined to join BRICS despite receiving an invitation last year.