Diplomat Times (New Delhi) — Top diplomats from the world’s major industrialized and developing nations on Thursday opened what are expected to be contentious talks dominated by Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s moves to boost its global influence.

Host India appealed for all members of the fractured Group of 20 to reach consensus on issues of deep concern to poorer countries even if the broader East-West split over Ukraine cannot be resolved.

In a video address to the assembled foreign ministers in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged them not to allow current tensions to destroy agreements that might be reached on food and energy security, climate change and the debt crisis.

“We are meeting at a time of deep global divisions,” Modi told the group, which included U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and their Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, whose discussions would naturally be “affected by the geopolitical tensions of the day.”


Secretary of State Antony Blinken will reaffirm the strength of the US-India bilateral relationship during his visit to India and will have the opportunity to discuss matters of shared interests, officials here have said.

Blinken arrived in New Delhi Wednesday night after his Central Asia trip. He is in New Delhi primarily to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting. On the sidelines of the meeting, he will have a meeting with his counterparts from Quad countries and participate in a panel discussion with them.

“Secretary Blinken will reaffirm the strength of the US-India relationship and express our commitment to continue working together and in groups like the Quad to advance economic growth for our two countries and expand cooperation as we have our shared priorities,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a news conference here on Wednesday.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called upon the G20 countries to build consensus on pressing global challenges and not allow differences on geopolitical tensions to affect overall cooperation, in comments that came amid a bitter rift within the grouping on the Ukraine conflict.

In his video message at the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting, Modi also invoked Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha to urge the delegates to draw inspiration from India’s civilisational ethos and “focus not on what divides us, but on what unites us.” The foreign ministers from the world’s largest industrialised and developing nations held crucial deliberations on key global challenges that took place in the backdrop of an increasingly bitter rift between the US-led West and the Russia-China combine over the Ukraine conflict.

It is learnt that the Indian side has been trying very hard to arrive at a joint communique but several diplomats from the West said the possibility of an agreed text was unlikely due to the fractured East-West relations over the war in Ukraine.