President Joe Biden is set to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit in New Delhi, India, where he will meet with leaders of the world’s largest economies and emphasize his role as a diplomat. Throughout his presidency, Biden has advocated for diplomacy and multilateralism, emphasizing the importance of the rule of law and alliances in countering the rise of autocracy.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan highlighted the United States’ unwavering commitment to the G20, expressing hope that the summit would demonstrate that major world economies can collaborate even in challenging times. The G20 represents a significant portion of global GDP, international trade, and the world’s population.
Key issues on the agenda for President Biden and other world leaders at the G20 summit include Russia’s war in Ukraine, climate change, economic matters, and delivering support to developing countries.
Biden’s attendance at the summit briefly faced uncertainty due to his wife, first lady Jill Biden, testing positive for Covid-19 over the Labor Day weekend. However, he will proceed with his visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, before traveling to Alaska to observe the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Notably, both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the G20 summit in person for the second consecutive year. Instead, they are sending other officials as representatives. This absence marks the first time a Chinese president has missed a G20 summit since its inception in 2008, with Xi having attended virtually during the pandemic.
China has not provided a specific reason for Xi’s absence, but tensions between China and host country India, stemming from a 2020 incident on their Himalayan border resulting in casualties, may be a contributing factor.
Putin’s absence is linked to the International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for him in March on allegations of war crimes in Ukraine. Despite Putin’s non-attendance, discussions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to remain prominent at the summit.
Last year, the G20 faced disagreements among members regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine, and reaching a consensus on a joint statement was challenging. With Xi skipping this year’s summit, achieving a joint statement could be even more complicated. President Biden is expected to call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict and emphasize the social and economic consequences of Russia’s actions on the world’s poorest countries.
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