South Africa (IP) - The BRICS group of nations, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, held an Extraordinary Joint Meeting on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza, six weeks into the conflict between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Iran PressAfrica: The virtual meeting was chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and attended by the leaders of the BRICS nations, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia President Vladimir Putin.

New BRICS entrants, whose full membership commences next year, including Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, were also invited to join the meeting. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres participated in the summit.

During the meeting, the BRICS leaders delivered country statements on the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza. A joint statement on the situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to Gaza, was adopted at the end of the meeting.

The conflict in Gaza has resulted in a significant death toll, with authorities in Gaza reporting over 13,300 deaths since the Israeli attacks began on October 7. This includes 5,600 children and 3,550 women, as well as 201 medical staff, 22 members of civil defense rescue teams, and 60 journalists. The Israeli death toll is around 1,200, according to official figures.

South Africa, which has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, hosted the meeting. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) party in South Africa often links the Palestinian cause to its own struggle against apartheid. China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who also attended the meeting, has accused the West of stoking tensions in the Middle East and criticized Israel for its conduct in the conflict.


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