CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders from the BRICS bloc of developing countries will hold a virtual meeting on the Israel-Hamas war on Tuesday, with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres also participating.
The leaders of fellow BRICS members Brazil, India and South Africa, as well as of Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, which are set to join the bloc in January, will also take part, according to the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa will chair the “extraordinary meeting” because of South Africa’s position as current chair of BRICS, his office said.
It said the leaders are expected to deliver statements on the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza and will likely adopt a joint statement.
The meeting comes a day after China’s top diplomat hosted the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Indonesia in Beijing, their first stop on a tour of U.N. Security Council permanent members.
The meeting underlined China’s longstanding support for the Palestinians and its growing geopolitical influence. Russia has adopted a more cautious approach to the Israel-Hamas war, but also has an opportunity to advance its role as a global power broker.
Putin has condemned the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on towns in southern Israel that sparked Israel’s offensive in Gaza.
More than 12,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in the West Bank. Officials there say another 4,000 are missing.
But Putin has also warned Israel over its response and against blockading the Gaza Strip.