BRICS+ Emergency Summit & Other Actions
It’s difficult to get a good complete picture of what transpired at the Summit which was conducted via video. Here’s the list of participants as provided by the Kremlin:
Vladimir PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation
Luiz Lula da Silva – President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
Xi Jinping – President of the People's Republic of China
Cyril RAMAPHOSA – President of the Republic of South Africa
Subramaniam JAISHANKAR – Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India
States invited to the association:
Abdel Fattah Sisi – President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Ebrahim Raisi – President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud – Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – President of the United Arab Emirates
Abiy Ahmed – Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Santiago Andrés CAFIERO – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Worship of the Argentine Republic
As you see, only the Argentine was below the head-of-state level, which IMO was expected and actually somewhat surprising it provided any representative.
The statements made by Putin and Xi were easy to find. I shall try and find as many others as I can as there was no joint statement issued in conclusion as usual. First up are Xi’s remarks as reported by Xinhua:
Full text: Remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the extraordinary joint meeting of BRICS leaders and leaders of invited BRICS members on the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza
BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday addressed the extraordinary joint meeting of BRICS leaders and leaders of invited BRICS members on the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza.
The following is the full text of his remarks:
Working Toward a Ceasefire and
Realizing Lasting Peace and Sustainable Security
Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of China
At the Extraordinary Joint Meeting of BRICS Leaders
And Leaders of Invited BRICS Members
On the Situation in the Middle East with Particular Reference to Gaza
November 21, 2023
Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,
This is our first summit since the expansion of BRICS. Before I speak about the issue of our discussion, I wish to extend a warm welcome to leaders of new BRICS members and express my thanks to President Ramaphosa and the South African government for your efforts that have made our meeting possible. Given the current circumstances, it is very timely and very important that we meet and speak up for justice and for peace on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
The conflict in Gaza is raging on into its second month. China is gravely concerned that the conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster, and tends to expand and spill over. China believes that the following is urgent and imperative: First, the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a ceasefire immediately, stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive, and act to prevent loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries. Second, humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza. The collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop. Third, the international community must act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole. China supports the resolution adopted at the emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly on October 27. The U.N. Security Council under China's presidency has adopted Resolution 2712. All the parties must act to deliver on these resolutions through concrete measures on the ground.
The root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to existence, and their right of return have long been ignored. I have emphasized on many occasions that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine. China calls for early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.
Since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has been working actively to promote peace talks and a ceasefire. China has provided humanitarian assistance to help ease the humanitarian plight in Gaza. This includes USD 2 million of emergency humanitarian assistance provided through the Palestinian National Authority and U.N. agencies, and emergency humanitarian supplies worth RMB 15 million, such as food and medicine, to the Gaza Strip with the help of Egypt. China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza. At the U.N. Security Council, China has acted in its capacity as president to facilitate the adoption of the resolution, which calls for extended humanitarian pauses and corridors, the protection of civilians, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.
The BRICS cooperation mechanism is an important platform for emerging markets and developing countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and safeguard common interests. Our meeting today to coordinate positions and actions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict marks a good start for greater BRICS cooperation following its enlargement. China commends South Africa for its significant contribution as BRICS chair to advancing BRICS development. As Russia will take over BRICS chairmanship next year, China stands ready to work with other members to jointly support Russia's work as the chair and usher in a new era for BRICS cooperation.
Again, reiteration of previous remarks lacking any suggestions as to their enforcement, the lack of enforcement of previous Mandates being one of the main reasons why today’s situation exists. Now it’s Putin’s turn:
Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr. Ramaphosa, Dear colleagues and friends,
We consider the initiative of the President of South Africa, as the current Chairman of BRICS, to convene an extraordinary summit of our Association to discuss the acute situation in the Gaza Strip very timely.
The loss of thousands of lives, the mass expulsion of civilians and the humanitarian catastrophe that has erupted are deeply worrying. A colleague just spoke about the death of a large number of children. This is terrible, but when you watch how operations are performed for children without anesthesia, it certainly causes special feelings. All these developments are, in fact, a direct consequence of the United States ' desire to monopolize mediation functions in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement and its blocking of the activities of the Middle East quartet of international mediators.
Thus, history has clearly shown the unviability and counterproductivity of single-handed attempts to cut the "Palestinian knot". Because of the sabotage of UN decisions that clearly envisage the creation and peaceful coexistence of two independent and sovereign States – Israel and Palestine – for generations, Palestinians have been brought up in an atmosphere of injustice shown to their people, and Israelis cannot fully guarantee the security of their State.
Russia's position is consistent and non-opportunistic. We call on the international community to unite its efforts to de-escalate the situation, establish a ceasefire and seek a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And the BRICS countries and the countries of the region could play a key role in this work.
That is why the participation of our colleagues from the Middle East countries, which have received invitations to become full-fledged BRICS members this year, is particularly significant. I would like to take this opportunity to respectfully acknowledge their efforts to normalize the situation. In particular, I am referring to the holding of the "Peace Summit" in Egypt and the extraordinary Arab-Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia.
It is significant that all BRICS countries share similar positions regarding the need to collectively achieve a long-term and sustainable solution to the long-standing Palestinian-Israeli problem.
This was evident during the voting in the UN General Assembly on the draft resolution in favor of a humanitarian truce, as well as during the discussion of the UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East settlement adopted for the first time in seven years. Although this resolution only calls for the establishment of humanitarian pauses, and not a full-fledged cease-fire, we consider the very fact of its approval to be a step in the right direction.
I would like to emphasize that such humanitarian pauses, or rather, of course, a full-fledged cease-fire, are necessary to continue efforts to free hostages and evacuate civilians and foreign citizens from the Gaza Strip. I cannot but express once again my great gratitude to President Sisi and all his Egyptian colleagues for their help in resolving many difficult issues related to ensuring the reception and sending of Russians who have escaped from the conflict zone to their homeland.
And of course, by and large, the most urgent task is to achieve a truly long-term and sustainable truce. I agree with my Brazilian colleague that it is important not to allow other States to be drawn into the war in the Middle East and any expansion of the geography of the conflict, as well as to preserve the fragile inter-religious peace.
In this regard, we consider it extremely useful to continue discussing the further development of the Palestinian-Israeli confrontation within the BRICS framework. If there are no objections, dear colleagues, during the upcoming Russian presidency of the Association next year, we will initiate possible contacts, including via video link, on this issue.
In general, the new format of emergency online meetings of leaders, proposed by President [South Africa Cyril] Ramaphosa, seems very promising. And this applies not only to the Middle East settlement, but also to other topical issues on the global and regional agenda.
Thank you for your attention.
Pretty much the same formula offered by Xi. As many are aware, resistance efforts aimed at the illegal situation of the Outlaw US Empire within Iraq and Syria are occurring and slowly escalating. Today, the Head of the People's Militia of the Republic of Iraq Faleh Fayyad met with Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in one of several events reported at Russia’s MFA website. The boilerplate readout didn’t provide any specifics of the discussion, although some educated guesses could be made about the content, which is likely to be seen via the Iraqi Militia’s actions. Yesterday, Bogdanov met with the UAE’s Ambassador that produced a similar boilerplate readout. A meeting with the Turkish Ambassador was held. Lavrov and other MFA members held a conference with the delegation of the Arab League, the OIC, the foreign ministers of the member states, as well as the OIC Secretary General. Here’s the text of Lavrov’s opening remarks:
We are glad to see you in Moscow. I would like to welcome the delegation of the Arab League, the OIC, the foreign ministers of the member states, as well as the OIC Secretary General.
I know that you formed this group following the results of the joint summit of the Arab League and the OIC, which took place on November 11 in Riyadh. Your task now is to mobilize as many members of the international community as possible to stop the bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, to ensure that humanitarian tasks are addressed and to create conditions for a long-term, sustainable settlement in accordance with the decisions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for this initiative. I think it's important. This is another step after the summit convened by President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on October 21 and the summit I mentioned in Riyadh on November 11. We have stated our position more than once. Immediately after the start of the current acute phase of the conflict (the events of October 7 of this year), President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin had telephone conversations with President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and a number of Arab heads of state. For my part, I am in constant contact with my colleagues, including those present here.
I would like to reiterate that we condemn terrorism in all its manifestations without exception. Terrorism must be combated in ways that do not take the form of collective punishment and are not contradictory. To put it bluntly, they do not violate the norms of international humanitarian law in the most flagrant way.
Today's situation shows how catastrophic it can be to follow a path that ignores international law. We are witnessing catastrophic humanitarian consequences in the Gaza Strip. The volume of humanitarian assistance is clearly inadequate. Agencies involved in this assistance within the UN are sounding the alarm. The main priority today is to solve urgent problems: the cessation of hostilities, the resolution of humanitarian issues, the release of hostages. We know that our friends from Qatar are actively engaged in this. In contacts with the parties, they are trying to start a process that has long been in need of a solution.
At the same time as these urgent tasks are being addressed, I would like to stress that it is necessary not only not to lose sight of strategic issues, but also to start creating conditions for their solution. I am referring to preparations for the restart of the peace process on an internationally recognised basis approved within the framework of the United Nations, within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, put forward by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and supported by all members of the League of Arab States and all members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The initiative envisages the establishment of an independent, contiguous, sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, which will coexist in peace and security with Israel and all other neighbours. It is clear that in order to move towards this goal, along with efforts to resolve the most pressing humanitarian issues I have mentioned, it is necessary to establish a collective diplomatic mechanism. We are convinced that the countries of the region, the Arab States and the Islamic States should play an important role in this mechanism.
The Quartet of international mediators, which was essentially dissolved by the decision of the United States (it refused to work in this format), did not include representatives of the Arab and Islamic worlds. It included Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations. Long before the current events, we were in favour of the Quartet working in full coordination with the League of Arab States. Our Western partners were lukewarm about this. And the UN did not take the initiative in this matter. The Quartet has not been able to cope with the functions entrusted to it by the Security Council of the world Organization.
The mechanism of external support for agreeing on the terms of a long-term, sustainable settlement based on a two-state solution should be truly representative. We must take full account of the obvious fact that it is the countries of the region that understand better than others how to achieve a solution that will suit everyone for many years to come. I hope that we will discuss all these issues today.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Saudi Arabia as the organizer of the joint summit of the Arab League and the OIC and to all those present for the initiative, which we consider timely.
The meeting produced the following Press Release:
On November 21, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Moscow with Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Foreign Ministers of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, Indonesia Retno Marsudi, Jordan Ayman Safadi, Palestine Riyad Maliki and Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Hissein Brahim Taha, who are members of the Committee established by the decision of the extraordinary joint summit held in Riyadh on November 11 The League of Arab States (LAS) and the OIC on the situation in the Gaza Strip.
A detailed exchange of views and a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict zone took place in the light of the unprecedented escalation of violence, which has already claimed the lives of more than 12,100 Palestinians and 4,000 Israelis.
Resolutely condemning terrorism in all its manifestations, the participants of the meeting stressed the unacceptability of combating this evil by means of collective punishment and the indiscriminate use of force against civilian objects in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
The commonality of approaches of Russia and the countries of the Arab-Muslim community to ways to overcome this crisis was confirmed. A joint position was expressed in favour of establishing a sustainable ceasefire as soon as possible, ensuring the protection of civilians, compliance with international humanitarian law, opening humanitarian corridors, continuing evacuation activities from the Gaza Strip and releasing hostages.
The participants of the meeting also emphasized the need to take vigorous coordinated measures in the interests of establishing a lasting peace between Palestine and Israel. In this regard, we emphasised that there is no alternative to a comprehensive political solution to the Palestinian problem on the basis of the well-known UN decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We noted the need to step up international efforts aimed at creating conditions for the establishment of negotiations between the parties, which should result in the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting in peace and security with Israel.
The participants in the meeting agreed to strengthen coordination of actions in the interests of the early resolution of the tasks of a comprehensive Middle East settlement. To this end, a schedule of further contacts between the foreign ministries, including within the framework of the UN and the mechanisms of cooperation between Russia and the Arab League and the OIC, was agreed.
Again, there’s a “commonality of approaches” but nowhere is there any discussion of how to implement those approaches when it’s very clear the Zionists aim to finish their project to destroy the Palestinians. Indeed, it seems the #1 question being begged is: Are these nations blind to what is being done and deaf to what is being said will be done to Palestinians?!? The Zionists are not being secretive in any way about their Project to eliminate all Palestinians; so, where’s the concerted pushback by the supposed leaders of the Global Majority specifically calling about and denouncing in unmistakably clear terms the absolute impossibility of such a Project being allowed to be completed, let alone launched; that what’s already taken place amounts to Genocide. The G word is nowhere to be found despite the mass of evidence that’s exactly what’s happening. At least a few brave souls within the UN refuse to be cowed and have said what must be said.
I’ve discovered some media reports about Iran’s Summit statements. Iran’s PressTV has several reports. Here’s #1, “Raisi calls on BRICS states to designate Israel as terrorist entity, sever ties with regime”:
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has told leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economies that members of the organization should move to designate the Israeli regime as a terrorist entity because of the extensive crimes it has committed in the Gaza Strip over the past weeks.
"It is necessary that this fake regime be recognized as a terrorist regime and its army be regarded as a terrorist organization," Raisi said.
The plea was part of seven proposals submitted by the Iranian president to a virtual BRICS summit held at the organization’s headquarters in South Africa on Tuesday.
The summit was convened at Iran’s request to discuss the ongoing conflict in Palestine where the Israeli regime has killed more than 13,000 people in Gaza as part of a relentless war to confront resistance fighters in the territory.
In his address to the meeting, Raisi said that BRICS members should unite their efforts to break an Israeli siege on Gaza and facilitate safe delivery of humanitarian aid to the territory, where more than 2.3 million people are in a dire humanitarian situation.
He also said that BRICS members should help set up an inquiry into Israel’s use of banned weapons in the Gaza war, including its use of white phosphorous bombs against the civilian population living in the territory.
The Iranian president further called on members of the bloc to recognize the right of the Palestinian nation to self-defense against the Israeli aggression as well as its struggle to liberate lands occupied by the Israeli regime over the past decades.
"With regards to the constant crimes [committed] by and the racist nature of the fake Israeli regime, free nations [of the world] expect all governments especially BRICS members to immediately put the issue of the severance of political, economic and military ties with the regime high on the agenda," he further said.
Raisi also said Iran will support a move by several BRICS countries to lodge a complaint against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the crimes it has committed in Gaza.
However, he said that the prosecution in the ICC should also cover the United States and its support for the Israeli regime’s killing of children in Gaza.
It’s clear Iran will not moderate its correct stance versus the Palestine issue as it calls for actions rather than the continuation of words. It’s also interesting that we discover the Emergency Summit was suggested by Iran, not South Africa as many reported. Another PressTV report provides a recap of the meeting. I’ll post what was said by others besides China and Russia:
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the meeting of the BRICS group, said Israel was committing war crimes and "genocide" in Gaza.
"The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide," Ramaphosa said.
He also called for an "immediate and comprehensive ceasefire" and the deployment of a UN force "to monitor the cessation of hostilities and protect civilians."
Ramaphosa further urged all countries "to desist from fueling" the conflict and stop supplying weapons to the warring parties.
"Let this meeting stand as a clarion call for us to combine our efforts and strengthen our actions to end this historical injustice," he said.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also called on all nations to cease weapon exports to Israel, emphasizing that the “brutal crimes” unfolding in Gaza demand a collective effort to bring them to an end.
He also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s rejection of the forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, calling for collective efforts to stop the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions in the blockaded territory.
The Saudi Crown Prince further stated that the kingdom demands the start of a serious and comprehensive peace process to establish a Palestinian state along the borders of 1967.
“The Kingdom’s position is constant and firm; there is no way to achieve security and stability in Palestine except through the implementation of international decisions related to the two-state solution,” he said.
The BRICS group of countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa -- are expected to issue a joint statement after the talks. [My Emphasis]
Since South Africa had already expressed the situation as Genocide, it clearly wasn’t afraid to do so again. Given the weakness and accusations of cowardice after the recent OIC Summit in Saudi Arabia, MbS needed to say something to try and alter that image and so he did with the first major call to collective action, which in reality is the only way anything positive is going to emerge from this crisis. Another somewhat related piece of news reported by PressTV, “France stoking ‘new war’ in S Caucasus by supporting separatists, Azerbaijan’s president”:
“France destabilizes not only its past and present colonies, but also our region, the South Caucasus, by supporting separatist tendencies and separatists, arming Armenia, encouraging revanchist forces in Armenia and preparing the ground for unleashing a new war in our region,” said Aliyev in written comments read out by his foreign policy advisor, Hikmet Hajiyev, at an international conference - titled “Decolonization: Women’s Empowerment and Development” - in Baku on Tuesday.
The Azerbaijani president stressed that France is doing this by “pursuing a militaristic policy”, accusing Paris of continuing a policy of neocolonialism and committing “most of the bloody crimes in the colonial history of humanity.”
Aliyev added that talks about “fictitious ethnic cleansing in other countries” instead of “apologizing for the atrocities it has committed.”
That came out of left field! And there’s this I just got from Escobar’s Telegram:
BREAKING: South Africa's parliament has voted on a motion to close the 'Israeli' embassy in South Africa, to suspend diplomatic relations with the child killing entity. 248 voted in favour and 91 voted against.
That’s a start that must be followed by a long parade of nations. Either the Global Majority steps out now and shows what it is to the entire world for now is the time to take an unequivocal stand against the last remnants of the Age of Plunder and Colonialist Genocide or nothing collective takes place, the Genocide continues and peace will continue to elude humanity.
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