Illustration photo – Delegates at the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in Delhi, March 2, 2023.
Delhi – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on world leaders to find ” common ground” on the issues that divide them. Modi announced this today at the beginning of the meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 group in Delhi, Reuters wrote. The focus of today's meeting of the G20 group is mainly the year-long Russian war in Ukraine.
“We should not let the problems we cannot solve together get in the way of the ones we can,” the Indian prime minister said in a video message.
He also spoke about the food and energy security of developing countries. “After years of progress, today we are in danger of going backwards on the SDGs. Many developing countries are struggling with unsustainable debts while struggling to ensure food and energy security,” he said. “They are also the most affected by global warming, which is caused by richer countries. That is why the Indian presidency of the G20 group tried to give a voice to the countries of the global South,” he added.
Today, Modi also held talks with Italian Prime Minister Giorgio Meloni. She said at the joint conference that she hopes India will help broker a “just peace” in Ukraine. She also noted that Italy intends to strengthen its cooperation with India in defense and energy and cyber security. Meloni flew to Delhi today and will stay until Friday, Reuters writes.
One of the main topics of the G20 foreign ministers' meeting will be Russia's war in Ukraine. India takes a largely neutral stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It has refused to condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine, is calling for a diplomatic solution and has significantly increased the amount of Russian oil purchased.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Kang are also in Delhi. A former Indian diplomat told Britain's BBC that India would have to do “something very special” to overcome their differences over the war in Ukraine.
German diplomacy said that German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met her Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the talks. “In the face of Russia's brutal attack on Ukraine and the UN Charter, neutrality is the reward of the aggressor,” the ministry said on Twitter.
Ahead of the ministerial meeting, Lavrov called for a “quick and fair” investigation into last year's unexplained explosions that damaged the Nord gas pipeline A stream at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. According to Lavrov, Moscow must be involved in the investigation.
Blinken subsequently said that the meeting of representatives of the G20 countries is taking place in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Unfortunately, this meeting was once again marked by Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine,” he said, adding that the G20 must continue to call on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.
The meeting of foreign ministers takes place a few days after the meeting of heads of the finances of the G20 countries in Bengaluru, which was also overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine. Delegates at the meeting in Bengaluru argued over condemning Russia for the war, failed to agree on a joint statement, and instead chaired India released only its own summary of the ministerial meeting.