PRETORIA, October 18. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in joining the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has just returned from a state visit to the kingdom, said.
"The Crown Prince (Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud - TASS) did express Saudi Arabia’s desire to be part of BRICS," the local radio station ABC quoted the president as saying on Tuesday, "They are not the only country [seeking membership in BRICS]".
Ramaphosa recalled that South Africa will hold the BRICS presidency in 2023. "We did say that BRICS [is] having a summit next year under the chairship of South Africa and the matter (expanding the BRICS group - TASS) is going to be under consideration," he noted, "A number of countries are making approaches to BRICS members, and we have given them the same answer, that it will be discussed by the BRICS partners and thereafter a decision will be made," the president elaborated.
Ramaphosa's state visit to Saudi Arabia concluded on October 16. As a result, the two governments signed a package of agreements and memorandums on joint projects worth a total of $15 billion.
South Africa joined BRICS in February 2011.