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Milei's Argentina will not join Brics, nominee foreign minister confirms

ARGENTINA will not join the Brics group of developing countries, its prospective foreign minister said on Thursday.

The country was one of six scheduled to join the bloc — named after its original members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — next year, in an expansion viewed warily by the G7 group of rich Western powers who see the Brics as a threat to their global economic dominance.

But President-elect Javier Milei, a far-right neoliberal politician who has vowed to realign Argentina with “the United States and Israel,” will fulfil an election pledge not to join after all, his nominee for the foreign ministry Diana Mondino says.

Mr Milei has slightly softened campaign declarations that he would cut ties with China and Brazil, the country’s largest trading partners, since his election. He told business leaders in Buenos Aires that Argentina would not copy US and European sanctions on China, saying they could “keep doing all [the business] you want” with the Asian giant.

But confirmation it will not join the Brics is a blow to the group which will be seen as a win by the United States in its global rivalry with China.

Latin America has been an area of competition for the two, with China providing economic assistance to countries under US sanctions, such as Cuba and Venezuela.

US Southern Command chief General Laura Richardson warned earlier this year that the US should see Chinese investment in the “lithium triangle” of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina as a threat to its interests.

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