Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Nov 15 (EFE).- G20 leaders began their annual summit Tuesday in Bali, in one of the group’s most tense meetings due to differences over the war in Ukraine, with expectations that consensus on a joint statement will be achieved.
All leaders of the group, except the leaders of Russia, Brazil and Mexico, who sent their foreign ministers, will be in sessions until Wednesday in which the war in Ukraine is expected to take center stage.
Despite the differences and the fact that the group has not been able to agree on any document since the invasion of Ukraine in lower-level meetings, European Council President Charles Michel said Tuesday that G20 members have closed a draft joint declaration to condemn the invasion “in the right direction.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated the summit by opening the first plenary on food security.
“We must end the war (in Ukraine). If the war does not end, it will be difficult for us to take responsibility for the future, for our future generations,” Widodo said. “We must not transform the world into a new cold war.”
Widodo has made a personal commitment this year for the summit to be a space for dialogue including all parties, also inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin, however, decided not to attend and sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on his behalf, facilitating talks between members of the group, even opening up the possibility of signing a consensus document.
“The fact of having reached an agreement at the delegation level is already a great achievement,” Michel told a news conference shortly before the summit began.
If a joint declaration is agreed with a mention of the war in Ukraine, it would be the first in an international forum to do so in these terms since the beginning of the conflict, since Russia and partners such as China have normally refused to do so.
An achievement that is not yet clear but that is in line with the more conciliatory tone than expected in the Monday meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his American counterpart Joe Biden, the first meeting featuring both as heads of state. The meeting exceeded expectations concerning the willingness to improve worsening relations.
Among other topics, G20 leaders will participate Tuesday and Wednesday in plenary sessions in which they will discuss food security, digital transformation and will also hold bilateral meetings on the margins of the summit.
The G20 is made up of Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, the United States, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Turkey and the European Union, with Spain as a permanent guest.