We want G20 heads to meet, solve issues: Indonesian envoy to India Ina Krisnamurthi

Prime Minister Modi to travel to Bali on Sunday night, to meet Biden, Sunak, Macron on sidelines of G-20 summit, but no meet with Xi announced

November 12, 2022 10:12 pm | Updated November 13, 2022 07:11 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Indonesian Ambassador Ina Krisnamurthi during an interview with The Hindu in New Delhi on November 11, 2022.

Indonesian Ambassador Ina Krisnamurthi during an interview with The Hindu in New Delhi on November 11, 2022. | Photo Credit: Suhasini Haidar

While Indonesia is encouraging all G20 leaders to meet and resolve issues at the upcoming summit in Bali, no information has yet been received on any plans for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said the Indonesian Ambassador to India.

Speaking to the The Hindu on the eve of the summit, Ambassador Ina Krisnamurthi said that Indonesia and India have been working closely together on developing the G20 agenda for the “Global South”. The G20 forum of the world’s largest economies will be steered by emerging economies for the near future: Indonesia this year, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024.

“At the summit level, we always, always want the leaders to meet, because the principle of hosting these events is to maintain dialogue, to maintain discussions in whatever format -- trilateral or bilateral or multilateral. If there is no dialogue, then how can any issues between them be resolved,” said Ambassador Krisnamurthi.

On Sunday, all eyes will be on the meeting between US President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, the Ambassador said that as host, Indonesia does not “intervene” to ensure any bilateral meetings take place, and had not been intimated about the possibility of any meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi on the sidelines of the G20.

Mr. Modi is due to arrive in Bali after overnight travel from Delhi on Sunday, and will return to Delhi on Tuesday. During the summit, Mr. Modi will accept a handover from Indonesian President Joko Widodo, as India assumes presidency of the G20 process from December.

“On the sidelines of the summit, Prime Minister will hold bilateral meetings with some of his counterparts. Prime Minister will also address and interact with the Indian community in Bali,” the MEA had announced on Thursday, although officials said the exact number of bilateral meetings was still under discussion.

Much of the interest surrounds any possible interaction between Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi, given the continuing standoff at the Line of Actual Control, and the fact that the two leaders have not spoken to each other in three years. Mr. Modi is expected to meet with Mr. Biden during the summit, and is likely to have pull-aside meetings with the newly appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak, French President Emannuel Macron, and Saudi Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who cancelled a visit to Delhi on Sunday at the last minute, due to scheduling issues. Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed last week that he would not attend the G20 summit, given the war in Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been invited to address the grouping via video. The Presidents of Brazil and Mexico will also not attend the summit, due to election processes in their countries, officials said.

Asked about the uncertainty over a joint communique being issued at the G20 and threats of a boycott by western countries in case Mr. Putin was attending, Ms. Krisnamurthi said that Indonesia had “maintained its priorities even after the war in Ukraine”, which was to ensure that the G20 grouping remains the “primary economic engagement” in the world after the losses due to COVID-19.

“Our focus is on post-pandemic economic recovery as well as the disruption of global value chains. We have maintained our priorities, even after the war in Ukraine, although many believe that we need to shift that focus, because Indonesia maintains its belief that the three priorities most relevant are the future of the world, the future of the earth, and for sure, the future of the Global South (emerging economies),” Ms. Krisnamurthi told The Hindu.

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