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Indian Foreign Minister: The absence of Xi and Putin from the G20 summit is unusual

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India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, addressing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Conference with India during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta, on July 13, 2023, leaving Myanmar’s seat vacant. BAY EZMOYO/POOL via REUTERS/File photo Obtain licensing rights

NEW DELHI, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar told Annie news agency that the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin from this week’s G20 summit in New Delhi is not unusual and has nothing to do with India.

In the interview broadcast on Wednesday, Jaishankar said Sherpas from the G20 countries are negotiating to build consensus and reach a declaration at the Sept. 9-10 summit in New Delhi.

“No, no. I don’t think it has anything to do with India,” he told ANI, in which Reuters owns a minority stake, when asked if Putin and Xi would miss the summit because they are upset with India.

“I think whatever decision they’re going to make, I mean, they’ll know better,” he said. “But I’m not going to see it at all the way you’re suggesting.”

In response to a question whether their absence would affect the building of consensus and the issuance of a declaration at the end of the summit, Jaishankar said: “We are negotiating now … the clock did not strike yesterday.”

But he said expectations from the G20 were “very high” and New Delhi faced the challenge of dealing with a “very difficult world” reeling from the impact of the pandemic, conflict, climate change, debt and politics.

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The G-20 includes the world’s top 20 economies, and its leaders aim to try to find solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems, despite the deep geopolitical divide over the war in Ukraine that threatens any progress.

But the absence of Putin and Xi, as well as divisions over the war, mean it will be difficult to reach a consensus declaration by the leaders at the summit, analysts and officials said. US President Joe Biden will focus on reforming the World Bank and getting others to act. The White House said on Tuesday that multilateral development banks will boost lending for climate change and infrastructure projects during the summit.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he hoped to discuss digital and food security issues. India said discussions were under way on a global framework for regulating crypto assets.

Reporting by YB Rajesh. Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: Principles of Trust for Thomson Reuters.

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