The BRICS group of nations decided at a summit this week in Johannesburg to invite six countries - Argentina, Egypt, Iran, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - to become new members of the bloc, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister told Al Arabiya TV on Thursday that the kingdom appreciated the invitation by BRICS to join the group and would study the details before the proposed Jan. 1 joining date and take "the appropriate decision."
Prince Faisal bin Frahan said BRICS was "a beneficial and important channel" to strengthen economic cooperation.
The group of developing nations was poised to invite new members in a move that could pave the way for dozens of interested countries to join a bloc that has pledged to champion the "Global South."
Agreement on expansion could also lend global clout to BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - at a time when geopolitical polarization is spurring efforts by Beijing and Moscow to forge it into a viable counterweight to the West.
Three sources with knowledge of an agreement between BRICS leaders meeting at a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa said the group had come to a consensus on admitting new members with some expected to be formally invited on Thursday.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa was due to deliver an address Thursday morning stating the summit's outcomes.
Bloomberg News reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be invited to join.
One of the three sources who spoke to Reuters said Argentina, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were also likely to be invited.