G20 Summit 2023: The United States on Monday praised India for the recently-concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi and reaffirmed that it was an ‘absolute success’. Washington also clarified that even if Russia was not mentioned, the declaration made an important statement over respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states.
Replying to a query on Russia not being mentioned in the declaration and China being absent from the event, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller in a press briefing said, “We absolutely believe that it was a success. First, with respect to the statement, the G20 is a big organization. Russia is a member of the G20; China is a member of the G20.”
He further underscored that many countries in a group as big as G20 have diverse range of views. “We believe the fact that that organization was able to issue a statement that calls for respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty and saying that those principles should not be violated is an extremely important statement, because that is exactly what is at heart of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he further mentioned.
Miller declined to comment on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s absence from the G20 Summit, but said that it was “incredibly productive” for President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to engage with their foreign counterparts in New Delhi. He also highlighted the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which the US is a part of.
“So it was a landmark India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor that we believe will usher in a new era of connectivity from Europe to Asia that will stimulate economic growth, economic development across the two continents, as well as cooperation on energy and digital connectivity,” he said.
The spokesperson also said that there was no interaction between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Blinken.
The success of G20 Summit
Since the conclusion of the high-profile G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received high praises from several world leaders over the ‘milestone’ success of the event – including Russia and China.
One of India’s most prominent diplomatic victories was the adoption of the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, wherein a 100% consensus was achieved among world leaders amid differences in opinion over the Russia-Ukraine war. Months of tightrope walk efforts were made to bridge polarised opinions between Western countries and Russia-China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about a consensus on 37-page declaration and its subsequent adoption at the start of the second session on Day 1 of G20 Summit in New Delhi. The declaration avoided a direct mention of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, something that both China and Russia had opposed against the wishes of Western countries.
Asserting that “today’s era must not be of war”, the G20 countries called on all states to uphold the principles of international law, including territorial integrity and sovereignty and pitched for initiatives for “comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine”. It further said that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons was inadmissible.
The declaration also reaffirmed that the G20 is a multilateral forum primarily aimed towards international economic cooperation and is not the platform for geopolitical issues – although they might have implications in the economy of the world.
“They (G20 leaders) dwelt on the ongoing war in Ukraine and the impact it has had especially in developing and least developed countries who are still recovering from the pandemic and economic disruption,” said External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
A call for a strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth was also made for the uneven recovery the world has seen from the COVID-19 pandemic, while it also highlighted trillions of dollar that countries would need to meet their climate goals and clean energy technologies.
Furthermore, PM Modi, Biden, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman among other leaders jointly announced India-UAE-Europe economic corridor including railways and shipping links to boost economic activity in the region.
Biden termed the new economic corridor a ‘big deal’ adding that it was focused on building a sustainable, resilient infrastructure, making quality infrastructure investments, and creating a better future. The launch of the initiative was hailed as “historic” by leaders of all participating nations