NEW DELHI: The UK is working to help India land a joint communique at the Delhi summit, but reaching a consensus would be difficult, said British high commissioner
, while citing that the 2022 G20 Bali Declaration, which was issued after a last-minute consensus on the Ukraine war, was not an easy compromise to accept for many countries, reports Sachin Parashar.
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G20: Bali compromise wasn’t easy to accept, consensus tough, says British HC Alex Ellis
The 2022 G20 Bali Declaration, which was issued after a last-minute consensus on the Ukraine war, was not an easy compromise to accept for many countries and, while the UK is working to help India land a joint communique at the Delhi summit, reaching a consensus would be difficult, said British high
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Amid efforts by G20 Sherpas to break the deadlock over the war, Ellis said in an interview to TOI that the UK agreed with India’s position that G20 was meant to address developmental, and not geopolitical, issues, but the war was hurting global economy and the group’s focus on SDGs. “We will support India’s ambition to get a joint communique, given the issues the world is facing at the moment – obviously, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but also some of the issues around food security, sustainability, global health,” said
, ahead of PM Rishi
‘s India visit.
British high commissioner Alex Ellis, in an interview to TOI, said the UK is working to help India land a joint communique at the G20 summit.
“(Russian President) Putin has made it that much harder but we want the world to come together. We have an eye on efforts to get a text which will support global progress but it will be tough,” said Ellis, ahead of Rishi Sunak’s maiden visit to India as UK Prime Minister. UK NSA Tim Barrow is currently in India to participate in the G20 Sherpa talks, ahead of the leaders’ summit.
“Bali wasn’t an easy compromise to accept for quite a lot of countries but we did so. Autocracies shouldn’t invade and take the land of democracies. Putin has a lot to answer for and that’s why he is not at the summit. And we very much agree with the Indian position as stated in the UN that there is a need to respect sovereignty, territorial integrity and the UN Charter,” Ellis added.
While the western countries are not willing to settle for anything less than the Bali Declaration, which had most members strongly condemning the war in Ukraine and also an acknowledgement that there were other views and assessments, Russia no longer accepts the same as it believes the situation has now changed. Moscow has also threatened to block the final declaration in Delhi if it doesn’t reflect its position on Ukraine.
“India is right to put issues related to SDGs in the front under its presidency. The difficulty is that what’s going on geopolitically has had consequences on those SDGs. One example is food security. Russia invaded Ukraine which is a big wheat supplier. It destroyed a lot of Ukrainian initiatives and is now blocking the Black Sea Grain Initiative. What does that mean? Less grain is getting out of the Black Sea and to the poorest of the world. What Russia is doing is having consequences for the world,” said Ellis.
The UK’s top diplomat here also didn’t think the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping would in any way affect the agenda of Sunak who is scheduled to arrive here for the summit on September 8.
“China will be represented and it’s for each country to decide how it would want to be represented but it won’t have any impact on our PM’s determination to try and get an ambitious outcome from G20 which deals with some of the world’s global problems, reenergises global growth and also addresses the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Ellis.