New Delhi, Mar 2 (EFE).- The meeting of the foreign ministers of the Group of Twenty (G20) began on Wednesday in New Delhi with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the diplomatic crisis between China and the United States set to dominate the agenda.
“I hope that your meeting today will reflect this spirit of coming together to achieve a common and concrete objective,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a video address to the delegates.
“You are meeting at a time of global divisions. As foreign ministers it is natural that your discussions are affected by the geopolitical tensions of today,” he said.
“However, as the leading economies of the world we also have a responsibility for those who are not in this room…we should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can,” he added.
The Indian leader called on the G20 foreign ministers to work to respond to food and energy security challenges, climate change and the financial crisis, among other problems.
“The world looks upon G20 to ease challenges of growth, development, financial stability, food and energy security,” he stressed.
The search for consensus among the group, made up of the world’s 20 largest developed and emerging economies, including the US, Russia and China, on the war in Ukraine is key for the G20, which has already failed to agree on a joint statement on previous occasions.
“Russia has to feel the pressure” from the world to end the conflict, a senior European Union official told EFE, on grounds of anonymity.
The official said that Western countries will seek a joint statement condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although he acknowledged that it will be a difficult task because “Russia is receiving strong support from China.”
At a G20 finance ministers’ meeting in the southern Indian city of Bangalore last week coinciding with the anniversary of the start of the conflict, Beijing sided with Moscow in its refusal to sign an agreement condemning the war.
Speaking after Modi, India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar urged “demand driven and sustainable development cooperation based on country ownership and transparency.
“Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are essential guiding principles of such cooperation,” he added.
The friction between Washington and Beijing, exacerbated after the recent tensions over the shooting down of an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon and the announcement by the White House to ban the use of the Tik Tok application among its officials, will also be in the background at the meetings in New Delhi.
The G20 is made up of Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, United States, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union.
Guest nations under India’s presidency include Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. EFE