SOUTH AFRICA- The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) foreign ministers concluded their meeting at Cape Town in South Africa, calling for full and effective implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. 

These leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whenever, wherever, and by whomsoever committed. 

The foreign minister recognized the threat emanating from terrorism and committed themselves to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and they said they looked forward to further deepening counter-terrorism cooperation.

The five ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening multilateralism and upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as its indispensable cornerstone.

Upholding international law will be especially challenging for South Africa, which will be obliged to execute an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges related to the war should he turn up for the BRICS summit in August this year.

The BRICS members have not been explicitly supportive of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, mostly maintaining a neutral stance, and they concluded their recent meeting without taking a clear stand on the Ukraine conflict. 

The foreign ministers reiterated their known positions on the Ukraine conflict and ”noted with appreciation relevant proposals of mediation and good offices aimed at peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy”.

Türkiye and the U.N. brokered the breakthrough initiative with Russia and Ukraine last July, opening a path for Ukrainian grain exports from three of its key Black Sea ports: Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny blockaded by Russia since the start of its invasion.

While the BRICS foreign ministers called for full and effective implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, they also insisted on the need to fulfill the stipulations of the Memorandum of Understanding between Russia and the Secretariat of the United Nations. 

This MOU was created to promote the export of Russian food products and fertilizers to the world markets, and the BRICS leaders stressed the importance of allowing these grains and fertilizers to continue to reach those most in need.

According to Russian authorities, this MOU has not been honored, and it, therefore, puts the black sea grain deal at risk. 

The deal was recently extended to July following its 18 May deadline, and Russia is adamant about not having it extended further on account of its dishonored MOU with the UN. 

As a group of emerging markets, the BRICS members discussed countering the US expansion by expanding their influence and having a shared currency at the Cape Town meeting.

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