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CHINA

Beijing welcomes expansion of BRICS

On Monday, it was confirmed that Bangladesh had officially applied to join the BRICS bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China welcomes more countries joining BRICS, because the bloc is committed to strengthening the representation and voice of emerging and developing countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday, a day after Bangladesh confirmed that it had applied for membership.

“China is committed to advancing the expansion process. We welcome as many like-minded partners as possible to join the BRICS family as soon as possible,” Ning said at a briefing, commenting on Bangladesh’s application.

She said that the expansion of the bloc is a political consensus of the five BRICS countries.

“The BRICS countries are an important platform for co-operation between emerging and developing countries. They have always been committed to defending multipolarity, actively promoting global governance reform, and strengthening the representation and voice of emerging and developing countries,” Ning added.

Countries, predominantly from the Global South, have been lining up to join the group, which accounts for about a quarter of global gross domestic product and more than 40 percent of the world’s population. The aspiring member states include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Algeria, and Argentina. – Sputnik

Picture: Valentyn Ogirenko/REUTERS/Taken on June 16, 2023 – Egypt’s Prime Minister Mustafa Madbuly, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema walk to attend a joint press conference, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

SOUTH AFRICA

Poland plane grounding shows Nato-aligned states’ disrespect for African sovereignty EFF

Last week, during the visit of the African Peace Initiative Mission to Kiev and St Petersburg on June 16-17, the Polish authorities prevented the South African presidential security detail and some journalists travelling with the mission to Kiev from leaving the Warsaw airport for over 24 hours.

South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has expressed deep concern over Poland’s recent denial of access to its territory to the South African presidential security detail and the media team accompanying the African Peace Initiative Mission.

The party’s national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo told Sputnik Africa that the Polish authorities’ actions are a part of the ongoing “Cold War” strategy aimed to force South Africa to align with Nato to isolate Russia.

Tambo argued that Nato-aligned nations’ behaviour towards African states disrespects their sovereignty and indicates their disregard for peace.

“The behaviour is unbecoming and should be an indicator of the disrespect Nato aligned nations have for African sovereignty,” the EFF representative said. “It is a clear sign that Nato has no interest in peace and will humiliate nations who pursue it through a stance of non-alignment.”

Last Thursday, Polish authorities prevented security personnel and journalists from leaving the Warsaw airport for more than 24 hours after their plane landed there to continue their trip by train to Kiev with the African delegation of the Russia-Ukraine Peace Initiative.

As a result, they could not get to Kiev or St. Petersburg with the African leaders’ mission.

Earlier this week, the EFF denounced the incident as “racist and a constraint on human rights and the media’s freedom” and called on the government of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to take decisive action in response.

The party’s proposed response included recalling the South African ambassador to Poland and downgrading the Polish embassy in Pretoria.– Sputnik

Picture: ANA Files – Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has praised the progress of the national military industry as the machine gun is manufactured entirely in the country, and has been presented at the Algiers International Trade Fair.

ALGERIA

Abdelmadjid Tebboune welcomes the first Algerian-made machine gun

The first Algerian-built machine gun was exhibited at the 54th Algiers International Fair. It is a 12.7 mm calibre weapon, designed to be mounted on vehicles. The model is basically Soviet, but the weapon is said to be 100 percent manufactured by the Khenchela mechanical engineering company, one of the Algerian army’s main suppliers.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune praised the progress made by the national military industry as the machine gun manufactured entirely in the country has been presented at the Algiers International Trade Fair.

According to the president, this achievement made by country’s military-industrial complex “is a source of pride for Algeria and the People’s National Army”.

“If only the chouhadas who started the Revolution with shotguns could see the level reached by the worthy heir of the National Liberation Army”, he quipped, referring to the fighters of the Algerian War.

Although Algeria has reportedly seen its military spending decrease by 3.6 percent in 2022, the African nation nevertheless continues to modernise its armed forces. The country is looking to develop its military industry in addition to moving forward on the issue of artificial intelligence or the use of drones, as Mokhtar Said Mediouni, a former colonel in the Algerian air force, recently explained to Sputnik.

Algiera is also continuing on its military collaboration with Moscow. On June 15, the two countries signed a declaration on an in-depth strategic partnership during Tebboune’s visit to Russia. This declaration is projected to facilitate technology transfers and the establishment of joint ventures.

In 2022, Russia and Algeria also signed a vast arms contract, as recently revealed by Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigou.

In September, US Senator Marco Rubio even called for sanctions against Algiers for buying weapons from Moscow.– Sputnik

These articles were first published in Sputnik