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G20 Summit: An undisputed success for India’s Presidency

India managed to hammer out an unexpected consensus among the G20 countries on the contentious Ukraine conflict through a series of hectic negotiations. NEW DELHI:  “Modi ki guarantee” and “Modi ka magic” helped in bringing about the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, said a source who witnessed the deliberations at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi. India managed to hammer out an unexpected consensus among the G20 countries on the contentious Ukraine conflict through a series of hectic negotiations.

The consensus document had 10 broad themes and 37 sub-heads. But nearly all of this was accepted by the leaders of the G20 nations. The text relating to the Ukraine conflict saw “a convergent consensus and not a divisive consensus. The sentiment in the room was buoyant,” the source said, adding that the Prime Minister was “a junction box of democratic values”.

Refusing to draw any comparison with the Bali Declaration, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said at a media briefing, “Bali was Bali and New Delhi is New Delhi. I mean, Bali was a year ago.” It was wrong to draw any inferences, he said. The declaration issued at the G20’s Bali Summit last November had deplored in the strongest terms the Russian aggression against Ukraine while most members strongly condemned the war. The New Delhi declaration does not feature these formulations. Meanwhile, Russia is rather happy with the declaration.

“The summit is an unconditional success for the Indian Presidency and for all of us. The G20 is undergoing internal reform. This was reflected in the significant activation of G20 members representing the Global South,” said Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. Lavrov also spoke of Moscow’s growing economic ties with Delhi and that the two countries were making efforts to come up with an alternative mechanism to the SWIFT financial system. On the UN resolutions on Ukraine, 16 members of the G20 voted for all the resolutions condemning Russia, while three members abstained and one voted against it. “There was a consensus on the language of the document that was put up for the declaration.

At the same time, I would like to reiterate that G20 is a forum that talks about economic reforms and development, and should not be used for geopolitics,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in response to a query from this newspaper. Similar views were expressed by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I would like to compliment Prime Minister Modi on the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration. There was consensus on it and we are happy to see this document,” said Erdogan, adding that he would be happy if there was a way for the conflict in Ukraine to come to an end. And they take time off to British PM Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murthy visited the Akshardham temple in the capital on Sunday.

Despite the rain, the couple walked barefoot and spent close to an hour in the premises, admiring its history and architecture, offering prayers and performing aartis and puja. “This is not only a place of worship but a landmark that also portrays India’s culture,” Sunak said. The temple authorities gifted them a marble elephant, a marble peacock and a special replica of the Akshardham temple. Sukhu only Cong CM at Prez dinner  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was the only CM from the Congress-ruled states to attend the dinner hosted by President Droupadi Murmu for G20 leaders on Saturday. He took the opportunity to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the rain-caused calamity in the hill state a “national disaster”.

An official statement said Sukhu has conveyed the gravity of the damage suffered by Himachal Pradesh during the monsoon to the PM and also told him that the state requires substantial assistance in the form of a special relief package from the Union government to chart a path towards recovery. Sukhu had earlier said that Himachal Pradesh had suffered losses to the tune of `12,000 crore due to rain-related incidents. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)