South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Tuesday host a virtual summit of the BRICS group of nations to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.
The BRICS group consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which are major emerging economies seeking to reshape the US and Western-led global order.
The meeting, titled “Extraordinary Joint Meeting on the Middle East Situation in Gaza,” aims to draw up a common response to the ongoing conflict that has lasted more than six weeks.
Leaders from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, who are all due to join the BRICS group in January 2024, will also attend the meeting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also participate in the summit, and all five BRICS heads of state are expected to join the virtual summit.
A joint statement with particular reference to Gaza is expected after the summit.
According to Israeli officials, a shock Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, with around 240 people taken hostage.
In Gaza, around 13,300 people, more than 5,500 of them children, have been killed in the retaliatory air and ground offensive, officials in the Hamas-run territory have said.
South Africa has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, with the ruling African National Congress party often linking it to its own struggle against apartheid.
The ANC said last Thursday that it would support a parliamentary motion to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until it agrees to a ceasefire in Gaza, decrying the “genocidal actions of the Israeli regime”.