- G20 negotiators agree on the formulation of Russia’s war on Ukraine – Al-Masdar
- The wording of the settlement will still need approval from leaders
- Indian Prime Minister Modi says the world is facing a huge crisis of confidence
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Delegates of the world’s most powerful countries have reached a compromise over the language of describing the war in Ukraine, a source familiar with the talks said, as world leaders started the annual Group of 20 summit on Saturday in New Delhi. Delhi.
Host India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the two-day meeting by calling on members to end the “global trust deficit” and announcing that the bloc would grant permanent membership to the African Union in a bid to make it more representative.
“Today, as chair of the G20, India is calling on the entire world to transform this deficit of global trust first into one trust, one trust,” he said. “It is time for us all to act together.”
The group is deeply divided over the war in Ukraine, with Western countries pressing for a strong condemnation of Russia in the leaders’ declaration to be issued at the end of the summit, while demanding that others focus on broader economic issues.
The source familiar with the negotiations said the Sherpas, or representatives of countries in the G20, had reached a compromise on the language to be used in the statement to be presented to the leaders.
Details were not immediately available, but it may be similar to the language in the declaration made in Indonesia at the 2022 summit, which noted that while most countries condemned Russia for the invasion, there were also divergent views.
An earlier 38-page draft of the final statement, reviewed by Reuters, left the “geopolitical situation” paragraph blank, while it agreed to 75 other paragraphs covering issues ranging from global debt to cryptocurrency and climate change.
At the start of the day, US President Joe Biden and other leaders were whisked through deserted streets to a new $300m conch-shaped convention center called the Bharat Mandapam, opposite a 16th-century stone fort, for the summit.
Many businesses, offices and schools in the city have been closed and traffic has been restricted as part of security measures to ensure the smooth running of the high-level meeting the country will host. Slums were demolished and monkeys and stray dogs were removed from the streets.
A White House official said Biden will push for a higher level of climate action at the summit, as concerns grow about a lack of consensus on cutting emissions.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she had asked G20 leaders to join a proposal to set global carbon pricing. G-20 countries account for 80% of global emissions, and their views are closely watched ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in the United Arab Emirates.
Dominated by the West
In his opening speech, Modi called on the African Union, represented by its president, Ghazali Osmani, to take its seat as a permanent member.
“This will strengthen the G20 and also strengthen the voice of the global south,” said a message on Modi’s official account on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
The West and its allies are expected to dominate the summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping was absent from the meeting and Premier Li Qiang was sent in his place, while Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be absent.
Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Schultz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, among others, are in attendance.
The summit was seen as providing a venue for a possible meeting between Xi and Biden after months of efforts by the major powers to repair relations strained by trade and geopolitical tensions.
“The Chinese government has to explain” why its leader is participating or not, John Weiner, the US deputy national security adviser, told reporters in Delhi.
He said there was speculation that China was “abandoning the G20” in favor of groups like the BRICS, where it dominates.
The BRICS group includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and it agreed to add six other new members – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates – to accelerate its efforts to amend the world order it sees. Also outdated.
Conflict over language
Russia is represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has said he will block the final declaration unless it reflects Moscow’s position on Ukraine and other crises.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 left tens of thousands dead, displaced millions, and sowed economic turmoil around the world. Moscow denies committing atrocities during its conflict with Ukraine, which it describes as a “special operation” to disarm its neighbor.
One of the sources told Reuters that the G20 joint declaration may or may not be reached unanimously. It can contain paragraphs outlining the views of different countries, or it can record agreement and opposition in a single paragraph.
According to another high-ranking source in one of the G20 countries, the paragraph on the war on Ukraine had been approved by Western countries and sent to Russia for its views.
In the event that no agreement is reached, India will have to issue a presidential statement, which means that the G20 will not issue a declaration for the first time in 20 years of summits.
A Leaders’ Declaration “is the best way to record what has been agreed upon, so that states can be held accountable in the future by outside parties, and so that government systems know what their leaders have signed up to and what they need.” “We have to do it internally,” said Creon Butler, program director for global economics and finance at Chatham House in London.
Differing views on the war have prevented agreement on a single official statement in ministerial meetings during India’s G20 presidency so far this year.
(Reporting by Manoj Kumar, Katya Golubkova, Krishn Kaushik, Mayank Bhardwaj) Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan. Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Jacqueline Wong, and Kim Coghill
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