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EU backs India’s pitch for inclusion of African Union as permanent member of G20

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European Council President Charles Michel
Image Source : AP European Council President Charles Michel

The European Union on Friday (September 8) said that it is looking forward to welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 at the two-day Summit scheduled to take place in New Delhi starting tomorrow.

“The European Union is looking forward to welcoming the African Union as a permanent member of the G20,” President of the European Council Charles Michel said at a media briefing, on a day ahead of the commencement of the Summit hosted by India.

Michel stressed that the European Union supports the African Union’s entry into G20.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in June written to the G20 leaders making a pitch for full membership to the African Union at the G20 New Delhi Summit.

The proposal was formally included in the draft communique for the summit, weeks later, during the third G20 Sherpas meeting in Karnataka’s Hampi in July.

A final decision on the proposal would be taken at the G20 Summit.

The African Union (AU) is an influential organisation comprising 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent.

Michel talks about Russia-Ukraine crisis

The President of the European Council condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and extended support to the “peace formula” for the resolution of the Ukraine crisis.

He said that Russia continues to attack innocent civilians in Ukraine and that the EU will continue to back Ukraine.

“The EU’s position on the Ukraine crisis is crystal clear. We condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine. We support the Ukrainian President’s peace formula to resolve the Ukraine crisis,” he said.

On Russia and China, Michel said, “…When we have a permanent member (Russia) of Security Council taking a decision to long shot an attack, a war it is a blatant violation of the UN Charter. This is something very serious. So, we are acting very united and very firm in supporting Ukraine and sanctioning Russia. How, on the inside, we see the relationship with China – we feel that we need to interest China to play a positive role at a global level into different UN Charter, into the sovereignty of Ukraine…”

Slamming Russia for its war in Ukraine, he said that the Putin-led country is shooting a missile against the developing countries.

“This G 20 meeting is one more occasion to make the clarity about Russian behaviour. By launching this war against Ukraine and transforming the Black Sea into a battlefield, Russia is shooting again a missile against the developing countries…” he said.

German Ambassador to India Philipp Ackermann backed India’s endeavour to get the new member at the table in the form of the African Union.

“We wholeheartedly support this Indian endeavour to get the new member at the table in the form of the African Union. That will be the second big Union of countries, next to the European Union. We are completely in favour of it,” he said.

G20 in India

India will host G20 Summit in its national capital on September 9 and 10 in which top leaders of the world will participate.

Several world leaders will arrive in New Delhi for the occasion which will be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. US President Joe Biden will arrive in India today.

The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, US, UK and the European Union.

India has also invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as guest countries for the mega event.

The security has been heightened in the national capital ahead of the Summit.

(With inputs from agencies)

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