3/3 © Reuters. US President Joe Biden visits the Raj Ghat Memorial along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other G20 leaders in New Delhi on September 10, 2023. Kenny Holston/Pool via REUTERS 2/3
By Katya Golubkova, Michel Rose and Manoj Kumar
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The G20 summit in New Delhi ended on Sunday with India handing over the bloc presidency to Brazil, while both the United States and Russia praised a consensus that did not condemn Moscow for the war in Ukraine, but called on members to avoid the use of violence.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the group’s leaders to hold a virtual meeting in November to review progress on policy proposals and goals announced over the weekend.
“It is our responsibility to examine the proposals made to see how progress can be accelerated,” he said in a statement.
On Saturday, the group adopted a leaders’ statement in which it did not condemn Russia for the war but highlighted the human suffering caused by the conflict and called on all states not to use force to seize territory.
The consensus came as a surprise. In the weeks leading up to the summit, starkly different views on the war threatened to derail the meeting, with Western nations demanding members call on Moscow to invade and Russia saying it would block any resolution that did not reflect its position.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, head of the Russian delegation, said the summit was a success for both India and the Global South, the world’s developing countries.
The position of the Global South in the talks helped ensure that the G20 agenda was not overshadowed by Ukraine, he told a news conference. “India has really consolidated G20 members from the global south.”
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that the summit declaration “strongly supports the principle that states may not use force to seek the acquisition of territory or to violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of other states.” “.
Germany and Britain also praised the resolution, but Ukraine said “it was nothing to be proud of.”
The summit also welcomed the African Union, which includes 55 member states, as a permanent member of the G20, underscoring the bloc’s representation of the Global South.
Lavrov also said Russia would return to the Black Sea Agreement (NYSE:), which allows Ukraine to export grain, if Russia’s demands are met. Moscow withdrew from the agreement in July because it had failed to meet its demands for the implementation of a parallel agreement to relax rules on its own food and fertilizer exports.
The summit document had called for the safe transport of grain, food and fertilizers from both Ukraine and Russia.
On Sunday, world leaders including US President Joe Biden, Germany’s Olaf Scholz, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and Japan’s Fumio Kishida visited the monument of Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi.
Most leaders walked barefoot to the site where Gandhi was cremated after his assassination by a Hindu extremist in 1948.
Biden later left for Vietnam and missed the final session of the summit. The White House said it was not aware that he had had any discussions with Lavrov or Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who led their country’s delegations at the summit.
Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin skipped the summit.
“This was one of the most difficult G20 summits in the almost 20-year history of the forum… it took almost 20 days to agree on the declaration before the summit and five days here on site,” said Svetlana Lukash, the Russian The G20 government negotiator was quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax.
“This was due not only to some disagreements on the Ukraine issue, but also to different positions on all key issues, especially on the issues of climate change and the transition to low-carbon energy systems…”
A European Union official, who did not want to be named, said on Sunday that the Ukraine war was the most contentious issue in the negotiations.
“This would not have been possible without India’s leadership,” the official said, adding that Brazil and South Africa also played crucial roles in bridging differences.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has left tens of thousands dead, displaced millions and sown economic turmoil around the world. Moscow, which says it is conducting a “special military operation” there, denies any atrocities.
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