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Brazil the nation to most likely rapture BRICS?

China’s President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazil’s President Michel Temer and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin pose for a group picture at the BRICS summit meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The election of Brazil’s new President, Jair Bolsonaro has been seen as a dilemma for the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) grouping. This because of the Bolsonaro’s Presidential campaign messages – he promised: “liberate Brazil from the ideology of its international relations that it subjected Brazil to in recent years.”

The ” liberation of Brazil from socialism” as declared by the far right-wing President has been viewed as the collapse of the grouping. The future of the bloc has been foreseen as “RICS” – Brazil the nation most likely to rapture BRICS.

Brasilia’s stance on the Venezuela crisis is another factor the world is anticipating a ‘Braxit’. A crisis concerning who is the legitimate President of Venezuela has been underway since 10 January 2019, when the National Assembly (the oppositional majority)declared the reelection of Nicolás Maduro as invalid and declared Juan Guaidó as acting President. Brazil has declared support for Juan Guaidó, while Russia and China are rallying behind six-year President Maduro. Brazil joined the US in backing the acting President.

Brazil has, however, not announced an exit – the country has assumed the Presidency of the grouping.

READ MORE: Brazil to host next BRICS Summit in 2019

In an interview with IOL.co.za, South Africa Minister of International Relations and Diplomacy, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu whether she foresees difficulty within the BRICS with Brazil’s new administration, its anti-China rhetoric and the country’s association with the US.

The Minster responded; 

BRICS is an association of willing partners who would like to assist each other. Governments come and ago and we are still hoping that the association will last. The President of Brazil has not broken away from BRICS, and he is the Chair of BRICS this year. We will wait and see what he has to say about BRICS, but I don’t expect that his relationships with other people will take him away from BRICS. We built the association over a long period of time and its successes speak for themselves – reports IOL.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

President Ramaphosa leads delegation to G20 Summit

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the South African delegation to the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 30 November to 1 December 2018.

Chaired by President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, the Buenos Aires gathering is the first G20 Summit in which President Ramaphosa will participate since being elected President in February 2018. The Leaders’ Summit will be complemented by meetings of finance ministers from G20 member states.

Argentina assumed the G20 Presidency in November 2017, with a focus throughout this year-long term on “Building consensus for fair and sustainable development” – a theme that resonates well with President Ramaphosa’s own emphasis on the importance of consensus and collaboration in South Africa’s efforts to build an inclusive and sustainable economy and advance social cohesion.

The G20 was formed in 1999 to bring stability to the global financial system, promote long-term sustainable growth and strengthen global financial governance. However, it has since expanded its agenda beyond economic and financial issues to encompass geopolitical matters and issues of peace and security, global governance, environment and international terrorism.

The G20, which consists of the leading developed and developing economies, accounts for 85% of global Gross Domestic Product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population.

South Africa views the Summit as a platform from which to promote and strengthen interests of the African continent and of the South.

South Africa further views the G20 as providing meaningful opportunities for advancing global governance reforms and reorienting the international developmental agenda.

President Ramaphosa will in the course of this Working Visit hold bilateral meetings with various Heads of States to strengthen and deepen relations with partner countries and present South Africa as an attractive investment destination and trade partner.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni, as well as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu.

 

 

ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

 

BRICS hopes to bring Bolsonaro closer

South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Lindiwe Sisulu held a media briefing, yesterday at the DIRCO media centre in Pretoria. Sisulu holds this briefings monthly – members of the media are appraised with developments relating to the implementation of South Africa’s foreign policy.

At the November briefing, Sisulu revealed her busy schedule – she will be visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), then attend the AU meeting in Addis Ababa, attend the 15th session of intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Operation in Russia and proceed to Washington for discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the coming weeks.

The DIRCO Minister was asked about the election of Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro, whether it will impact the BRICS coalition.

Sisulu said that the Brazil elections were free and fair. “During the campaign Bolsonaro made a lot of unfortunate utterances but he was likely engaging in a lot of populist rhetoric in order to get elected. But we hopes to bring him closer to us and that he will see it is beneficial to be on the side of progressives,” Sisulu responded.

South Africa considers, Brazil an important part of bloc and hopes that the new Brazil President will align his visions with that of the grouping.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Addition Reporting: IOL.co.za

 

South Africa looking to involve BRICS more in peace support operations

 

Peacekeeping was high on the agenda at the 10th BRICS Summit that took place in South Africa 25 – 27 July.

South Africa’s International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Ms. Lindiwe Sisulu told BRICS leaders about the recognised importance of UN peacekeeping for the maintenance of international peace and security.


She further said that leaders of BRICS need to be more involved in peace, who then acknowledged the need to increase BRICS’ co-operation on peacekeeping.


South Africa’s initiative to create a BRICS working group on peacekeeping was recognised at the Summit. Sisulu said: “BRICS could pursue the creation of the working group by facilitating agreement on guidelines”.


Military analyst, Helmoed Heitman expressed skepticism about peace talks, saying Brazil and India are regular force contributors to UN peace support operations (PSOs). He said that China and Russia’s contribution to UN peacekeeping has been miniscule in comparison to the size of the forces and their economy. However, Heitman says talking peacekeeping in the bloc is “not doing any harm and might do some good”.


Source: defenseWeb

DIRCO says the immunity granted to Zimbabwe’s former first lady Grace Mugabe is null and void

Department of International Relations and cooperation (DIRCO) minister, Lindiwe Sisulu briefed the media on Thursday in Pretoria.

The minister gave an update on the recently held BRICS summit and the Zimbabwe presidential elections.

“We have decided that the conferment of Grace Mugabe’s immunity,  as published in the Government Gazette, is null and void as the court has set it aside already,” said Sisulu.

Earlier in the week, the Johannesburg High Court set aside Mugabe’s diplomatic immunity.

Sisulu told reporters that “the lawyers have studied the documents and the outcomes of the case and having being advised by lengthy legal discussions between ourselves and other legal entities, that the department will carry the legal costs as pointed out by the courts”.

The minister didn’t comment on the post-election violence in Harare.

 

Source: 702