September 23, 2023

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The draft G20 declaration leaves the paragraph on Ukraine blank

The draft G20 declaration leaves the paragraph on Ukraine blank

  • Wording regarding the war in Ukraine is unresolved – draft
  • Sherpa leaves the paragraph on geopolitics blank – draft
  • The G20 summit is dominated by the West, with Xi and Putin absent
  • New Delhi was decorated, and the commercial area was closed for the meeting

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – G20 negotiators were unable to resolve differences over the wording of a summit declaration on war in Ukraine on Friday, according to a draft seen by Reuters, leaving any potential breakthrough up to the bloc’s leaders during the two meetings. Today’s meeting.

The 38-page draft circulated among members left the “geopolitical situation” paragraph blank, while agreeing to 75 other paragraphs that included climate change, cryptocurrencies and multilateral development bank reforms.

The Sherpas in the G20 have been struggling for days to agree on language due to disagreements over the war, hoping to persuade Russia to issue a statement.

Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 negotiator, said earlier in the day that “the New Delhi leaders’ announcement is almost ready, and I don’t want to go into it… This announcement will be recommended to the leaders.”

One source told Reuters that the joint declaration may or may not be reached unanimously. It can contain different paragraphs illustrating the views of different countries. Or agreement and disagreement can be recorded in one paragraph.

A second source said: “We may move beyond the differences and issue a general statement saying that we should achieve peace and harmony throughout the world so that everyone can agree.”

According to another senior source in one of the G20 countries, the paragraphs related to the war on Ukraine were approved by Western countries and were sent to Russia for their opinions.

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The official said that Russia had the option to accept the views of Western countries and express its opposition as part of the statement. If no agreement is reached, India will have to issue a presidential statement, which means the G20 will not issue a declaration for the first time in 20 years of summits.

An EU diplomat said India was doing an “excellent” job as a host in seeking compromises.

But so far Russia is preventing a settlement that would be acceptable to everyone otherwise.”

The document showed that the group agreed to address debt-related vulnerabilities in low- and middle-income countries in an “effective, comprehensive and systematic manner,” but did not develop any new action plan.

The draft also shows that countries have pledged to strengthen and reform multilateral development banks, while accepting the proposal to tighten cryptocurrency regulations.

The conference also agreed that the world needs a total of $4 trillion in low-cost financing annually for the energy transition.

On Friday, the usually busy streets of the capital, New Delhi, were deserted with businesses, offices and schools closed as part of security measures to ensure the smooth conduct of the high-level meeting hosted by the country.

Slums were demolished and monkeys and stray dogs were removed from the streets.

Eleventh, Putin is missing

The West and its allies are expected to dominate the two-day summit that begins Saturday in New Delhi. Chinese President Xi Jinping will be absent from the meeting and Premier Li Qiang will be sent instead, while Russian President Vladimir Putin will also be absent.

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US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, among others, will attend.

A hardline stance on the war has prevented agreement on even a single statement at ministerial meetings during India’s G20 presidency so far this year, leaving it to leaders to find a way around the problem, if possible.

China said on Friday that it is ready to work with all parties and push for a positive outcome at the summit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning made the remarks after the media a report Sunak blamed China for delaying an agreement on various issues, including Ukraine, Sunak said.

In New Delhi, Sunak said it was not his place to tell India what position it should take on the war in Ukraine.

“It is not my place to tell India what positions it should take on international issues, but I know that India truly cares about the international rule of law, the UN Charter and respect for territorial integrity,” Sunak told Indian news agency ANI.

India avoided blaming Moscow for the war and called for a solution through dialogue and diplomacy. The Financial Times reported on Thursday that Sunak would urge his Indian counterpart to “call out” Russia over its invasion in February 2022.

View India

The Modi government sees India’s presidency of the group and the summit as a showcase of the country’s fast-growing economy and its rising position in the geopolitical order.

New Delhi has been prepared for the gathering with a new summit venue, fountains, flower pots and lighting along main roads, along with thousands of armed security personnel standing guard.

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More than 100 Tibetan refugees staged a protest away from the city center on Friday, demanding that the “occupation” of their country by China be discussed during the summit.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier that Washington is ready to work with India to help draft a statement at the end of the summit, but that will be a challenge.

The project did not talk about the gradual reduction of fossil fuels.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said G20 leaders have the power to reset the climate crisis that is “out of control” and urged them to reshape global financial rules that he described as outdated and unfair.

“The climate crisis is worsening dramatically – but the collective response lacks ambition, credibility and urgency,” Guterres said in a speech.

(Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar, Katya Golubkova and Krishn Kaushik) Writing by YP Rajesh and Aftab Ahmed; Edited by Kim Coghill, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick Macfie

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