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Indian Foreign Minister Acknowledges, the World Has Changed

Sept. 11, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—In the wake of the Sept. 9-10 G20 Summit in New Delhi, Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar gave an interview to India Today about the overall process leading into and during the summit. The Minister was proud of the success his country had achieved, and emphasized that there were changes in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as changes in the world, epitomized by the change in attitude among the Global South, which contributed to pulling off the summit.

When he was asked about the contentions over what language to use to describe the war in Ukraine, he replied that it was not a question of “finding the right words and finishing it with good language...” “I think the declaration also happened because his (PM Modi’s) stature had gone up. So when he brought up the issue with some of his counterparts, and considering the fact that it was Prime Minister Modi himself bringing up the issue, I think it definitely had an impact on his counterparts,” Jaishankar said.

Even more revealing, in response to a question about criticism that the Declaration was soft in its condemnation of Russia, he said “I don’t think it’s a cop out. I think the people who are putting it that way are not really understanding what is happening in the world. ...

“The core concept of our agenda of the G20 this time was really about the Global South. The Ukraine conflict directly impacted the Global South. That didn’t come through in Bali [Indonesia, last year’s host of the G20]. A year after that, given the food shortages, inflation, energy shortages, the impact it has had on economies across the developing world, don’t you think, in fairness, we needed to reflect that in the declaration?”

Jaishankar also said that the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration needed to reflect the situation where multiple countries have been working to resolve the Ukraine conflict. “So we had to find a different set of words and different formulations. Which is why I said, ‘Bali was Bali, Delhi is Delhi.’ ”

That last reference refers to comments that Minister Jaishankar had made at a press conference on Sept. 9 during the G20 Summit. During that press conference, he was asked which nations helped the most in reaching the final agreement reflected in the Declaration. Jaishankar replied:

“The question who helped ... eventually everybody helped, because everybody came together for the consensus. ... I think the emerging markets took a particular lead on this and ... many of us have a strong history of working together. Bear in mind that actually you have four developing countries in succession as G20 presidency, Indonesia, us, Brazil and South Africa.”

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