NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The skipping of this week’s G20 summit in New Delhi by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin is not unusual and has nothing to do with India, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told to news agency ANI.
Sherpas of the G20 countries are negotiating to reach a consensus and reach a statement at the Sept. 9-10 summit in New Delhi, Jaishankar said in the interview, which aired on Wednesday.
“No no. I don’t think it has anything to do with India,” he told ANI, in which Reuters has a minority stake, when asked if Putin and Xi are skipping the summit because they are pissed off about India.
“I think whatever decision they make, I mean they would know best. But I wouldn’t see it at all the way you suggest,” he said.
Asked if their absence would affect reaching a consensus and drafting a statement at the end of the summit, Jaishankar said: “We are currently negotiating…the clock didn’t start ticking yesterday.”
But G20 expectations are “very high” and New Delhi faces the challenge of dealing with a “very difficult world” reeling from the effects of the pandemic, conflict, climate change, debt and politics, he said.
Bringing together the world’s twenty largest economies and their leaders, the G20 strives to find solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems, even as deep geopolitical divisions over the war in Ukraine threaten any progress.
But the absence of Putin and Xi and the division over the war mean it would be difficult to reach a consensus leadership statement at the summit, analysts and officials say. US President Joe Biden will focus on reforming the World Bank at the summit and urge other multilateral development banks to boost lending for climate change and infrastructure projects, the White House said on Tuesday.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said he hopes to discuss digital issues and food security. India has said discussions are underway about a global framework to regulate crypto assets.
(Reporting by YP Rajesh; editing by Jacqueline Wong and Raju Gopalakrishnan)