By Mehr Ghazanfar Abbas
New Delhi is all set to welcome Foreign ministers from around the world who will arrive this week in the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine and spiraling U.S.-China tensions, with host India hoping that issues like climate change and Third World debt are not overlooked.
However, the influential bloc is not influential enough to stop Russia from causing further destruction in Ukraine. The March 1-2 meeting of the G20 foreign ministers will be held days after a meeting of finance chiefs of the bloc in Bengaluru which miserably failed to reach a consensus on a joint statement when it comes to condemning Russia over the war in Ukraine and settled instead for a summary document.
G20 had met the same fate last November in Bali when host Indonesia also issued a final declaration acknowledging differences.
Russian Foreign Minister had walked out of G20 Summit last year in July following, also in Bali after the West strongly denounced the war.
As Delhi prepares to host the dignitaries, the summit is expected to be attended by Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Britain’s James Cleverly. While China will be sending its foreign minister, Qin Gang. In all, representatives of 40 countries, including non-G20 members invited by India, and multilateral organizations will attend the summit.
The G20 bloc comprises G7 democracies, as well as Russia, China, India, Australia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia among other countries.
Indian officials have confirmed that a meeting of foreign ministers of the Quad countries – the United States, India, Australia, and Japan – is also scheduled to be held on the sidelines. The Quad countries meeting may send unpleasant waves across China, however.
Well-informed officials said India wants the G20 summit to focus on issues like climate change and the debt of developing countries. However, given the intensity of the Russian attack on Ukraine and the US’s stern stance on the issue, G20 may not achieve its targets, it is feared.