NEW DELHI: External affairs minister
in New Delhi is not unusual and has nothing to do with India
Jaishankar, in an exclusive interview with ANI ahead of the G20 Summit in Delhi on September 9 and 10, emphasized that the absence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping should not overshadow the event. He pointed out that in the history of the G20, there have been instances where presidents or prime ministers chose not to attend global meetings, and the representative present on their behalf reflects their country’s position.
“I do not think it has anything to do with India. I think whatever decision they make, they would know best,” Jaishankar told ANI.
Meanwhile, the White House has confirmed that US President Joe Biden will be travelling to India to attend the G20 summit.
The confirmation from the United States comes after First Lady Jill Biden, aged 72, tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. President Biden, aged 80, underwent Covid-19 testing on both Monday and Tuesday, in response to his wife’s positive test, and fortunately received negative results.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced during a White House press conference, “On Thursday, the President is scheduled to journey to New Delhi to take part in the G20 leader’s summit.” He further mentioned that on Friday, President Biden is set to engage in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, and during the weekend, specifically on Saturday and Sunday, he will actively participate in the official sessions of the G20 summit.
China’s ministry of foreign affairs announced that Premier Li Qiang would attend the summit, while President Putin conveyed his inability to attend and designated Russia’s representation to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Jaishankar clarified that the summit’s agenda and issues being discussed are not new, as they have been in the works for several months through various ministerial and official processes. He emphasized that these discussions are the culmination of these ongoing efforts.
When asked about consensus-building and what India views as a win-win situation, Jaishankar emphasized that it’s not just about India’s perspective. The expectations from the G20 are high worldwide, with many countries, especially those in the Global South, seeking solutions to their unique challenges such as debt, trade, health access, and green development. Jaishankar stressed the importance of focusing on the Global South’s concerns while acknowledging the turbulent global environment shaped by Covid-19, the Ukraine conflict, long-standing debt issues, and the economic impact of climate disruptions.
(With inputs from agencies)