Friday, March 31, 2023

Jaishankar hosts reception for foreign ministers attending G20 meet

A day ahead of a crucial G20 meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday evening hosted a welcome dinner for the foreign ministers attending the deliberations but the reception was missed by his counterparts from the US, China, Germany and France.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese foreign Qin Gang, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and France’s Catherine Colonna had not landed in Delhi when the reception began at around 7 pm at a luxury hotel in Delhi.
However, a significant number of foreign ministers and their delegates attended the reception.
Blinken arrived in the national capital later in the night.
Overall 40 delegations are expected to participate in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Cultural Center.
Besides the G20 member countries, the meeting is being attended by foreign ministers of nine guest countries – Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Foreign ministers at the reception exchanged pleasantries and held brief conversations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell Fontelles, Canada’s Mélanie Joly, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, Argentina’s Santiago Cafiero are among those who had already landed in Delhi.
The foreign ministers from the world’s largest industrialised and developing nations will hold crucial deliberations on key global challenges at the meeting in Delhi on Thursday which is taking place amid an increasing rift between the Us-led West and the Russia-China combine on the Ukraine conflict.
The foreign ministers are also likely to discuss ways to deal with falling economic growth, increasing inflation, lower demands for goods and services as well as increasing prices of food, fuel and fertilisers.
However, the major flashpoint between the West and the Russia-China combine is expected to be the Ukraine conflict even as India is set to make all out efforts for a joint statement following the crucial meeting.
Russia on Sunday alleged that the G20 finance ministers’ meeting in Bengaluru ended without a joint communique because of the “confrontational” approach towards Moscow by the “collective West” over the situation in Ukraine.
The G20 meeting of finance ministers and Central Bank governors on Saturday was unable to come out with a joint communique following opposition by Russia and China on making any references to the war in Ukraine.
“For India, the G20 presidency also marks the beginning of Amrit Kaal, which will lead to the centenary of our independence, towards a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive and developed society with a human-centric approach at its very core,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a media briefing.
During the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Kwatra said, Jaishankar will be chairing two sessions.
“The first session will focus on three principal subitems: first of them relating to multilateralism; second something which is very crucial for the developing world, the issues related to food and energy security; and the third, the larger question of templates of development cooperation,” he said.
Kwatra said the second session will focus on new and emerging threats including that of terrorism.


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