Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?

Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?
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In this combination image, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is shown receiving world leaders attending the G20 Leaders' Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. The leaders are (clockwise from top left): Italy PM Giorgia Meloni; Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Nigeria President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Indonesia President Joko Widodo, Japan PM Fumio Kishida and Netherlands PM Mark Rutte. (AP & AFP photos)
Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?
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Mexico's Economy Minister Raquel Buenrostro Sanchez (L), Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C) and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman attend the first session of the G20 Leaders' Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (POOL / AFP)
Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?
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(L-R) World Bank President Ajay Banga, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and US President Joe Biden pose for a group photograph after a session at the G20 Leaders' Summit in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (POOL / AFP)
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Updated 10 September 2023
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Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?

Who is attending the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi?
  • Since 2008, the G20 leaders’ summit has been among the world’s most high-profile geopolitical assemblies
  • This year’s summit is the biggest to date, drawing together delegations from member states and a long list of guests

NEW DELHI: Heads of state, government and other senior officials from the Group of 20 major economies and allied nations are in India’s capital New Delhi for the G20 leaders’ summit this weekend to seek solutions to the world’s shared challenges.

This year’s leaders’ summit is the biggest to date, drawing together large delegations from member states and a long list of guests representing the world’s emerging economies and multilateral organizations.




German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (2R seated) watches as France's President Emmanuel Macron (4L) arrives to attend a session of the G20 Leaders' Summit at the Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (POOL / AFP)

Attendees include:

  • Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez
  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
  • Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
  • European Council President Charles Michel 
  • French President Emmanuel Macron
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo
  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni
  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
  • Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
  • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
  • South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
  • US President Joe Biden



(L-R) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Chairperson of the African Union Azali Assoumani, Australia's Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, US President Joe Biden, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Spain's Deputy PM Nadia Calvino arrive for the opening session of the G20 Leaders' Summit in New Delhi on September 9, 2023. (POOL / AFP)

On Saturday, the African Union became a permanent member of the G20, only the second regional grouping to be admitted to the group following the EU, after a proposal put forward by Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister and host of the summit.

“In keeping with the sentiment of sabka saath (alongside everyone), India has proposed that the African Union should be given permanent membership of the G20,” Modi told delegates. 

The announcement came at the start of the two-day G20 leaders’ summit amid cheers and applause as Azali Assoumani, chair of the AU and president of Comoros, was escorted to his seat among his fellow world leaders.

Several leaders and top officials from non-member states are also attending the summit as guests:

  • Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte
  • Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
  • Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth
  • Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
  • Omani Deputy Prime Minister Asaad bin Tariq bin Taimur Al-Said
  • Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
  • Spanish First Vice President Nadia Calvino 
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares
  • UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L), British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden attend "Session II: One Family" at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, on September 9, 2023. (REUTERS/Pool)

India assumed the G20 presidency on Dec. 1, 2022. More than 200 meetings were held across 60 cities across the country, attended by top government officials, ministers, engagement groups and emissaries, known as “sherpas” in G20 parlance.

The intergovernmental forum was founded in 1999 in the wake of the Asian financial crisis to bring together finance ministers from 19 nations plus the EU to address common issues related to the global economy. 

Since 2008, the G20 leaders’ summit has been among the world’s most high-profile geopolitical assemblies.

Underlining the G20’s focus on the sustainable development of emerging economies in the coming years, the next troika will comprise India, the current chair, Brazil, the successor, and South Africa, the next in line.

 


Russia arrests two more top defense officials

Updated 10 sec ago
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Russia arrests two more top defense officials

Russia arrests two more top defense officials

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday arrested a general and a high-ranking defense official on corruption and “abuse of power” charges — the latest senior military figures to be put behind bars this month.

The Kremlin denied it was carrying out a purge of top army officials, but some of Russia’s influential military bloggers welcomed the arrest of a general they hold responsible for battlefield failures in the two-year offensive in Ukraine.

Moscow’s powerful Investigative Committee said Vadim Shamarin, deputy head of Russia’s General Staff, had been placed in detention on suspicion of “large-scale bribe taking.”

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

The committee alleged that Shamarin had been taking bribes for years from a factory in the Urals city of Perm, saying he had received 36 million rubles (364,000 euros) in kickbacks in return for boosting government contracts.

It said he had been placed in pre-trial detention.

Later on Thursday, the committee announced the arrest of Vladimir Verteletsky — an official from the defense ministry’s department for ensuring state orders.

It said Verteletsky had “been charged with the abuse of his official powers” and has also been placed in detention.

Investigators accuse Verteletsky of taking a bribe in relation to a government contract in 2022, the first year of Moscow’s offensive.

It said the alleged offense had cost the state “over 70 million rubles” (706,000 euros).

Critics and opposition figures have for years said Russia’s military is riddled with corruption, although its leaders have rarely faced any serious probe or retribution.

The issue burst to the forefront amid failures in the Ukraine offensive, with Wagner paramilitary head Yevgeny Prigozhin accusing Russia’s military bosses — then-defense minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov — of corruption on an almost daily basis, saying it hobbled Russia’s combat capacity.

Prigozhin died last year in a plane crash just two months after launching a bloody mutiny in a bid to remove the pair.

The arrest of Shamarin, who was head of the General Staff’s communications directorate, is the latest in an apparent crackdown on some of Russia’s top military officials.

But the Kremlin denied it was mounting a purge.

“The fight against corruption is an ongoing effort. It is not a campaign. It is an integral part of the activities of law enforcement agencies,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Putin removed Shoigu earlier this month in a surprise reshuffle, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

A deputy defense minister, Timur Ivanov, and head of the ministry’s personnel, Yuri Kuznetsov, also have been arrested in the last few weeks for bribe-taking.

And Ivan Popov, an ex-commander who was sacked after he criticized Russia’s military leaders for a high casualty rate in Ukraine, was arrested earlier this week.

Some Russian military bloggers welcomed the arrest of Shamarin, saying it was communications breakdowns — caused by a lack of equipment due to corruption — that were behind Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

“Bribery in the military and security services is state treason,” military blogger Anastasia Kashevarova said in a post on Telegram.

Amid the reshuffle and arrests in Moscow, Russian forces in Ukraine have made their most significant advances on the battlefield in 18 months, with a new major assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region.


Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse
Updated 6 min 22 sec ago
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Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

PALMA, Spain: The roof of a restaurant in Spain’s popular tourist island of Mallorca collapsed Thursday, killing four people and injuring more than 20 others, local rescuers said.

“There are four dead and around 21 injured,” the rescuers said, adding that some of the injuries were serious.

Local media said the two-story building was in the Playa de Palma area to the south of the Mediterranean island’s capital Palma de Mallorca.

Firefighters, police officers and ambulances rushed to the scene, according to images published in local media.

Mallorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, whose pristine waters and beaches attract more tourists than all Spanish regions after Catalonia.

More than 14 million tourists visited the islands last year, according to official figures.


Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts
Updated 21 min 12 sec ago
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Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump boasted Thursday he would quickly free jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich from Russia if he wins the presidential election, but Moscow denied discussing the case with the Republican candidate.

Trump, who has frequently voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and has voiced skepticism over US support for Ukraine, said the Moscow strongman “will do that for me, but not for anyone else.”

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

“He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY.”

Trump said that the United States “WILL BE PAYING NOTHING” — a likely jab at President Joe Biden’s deal last year to free Americans from Iran that included the transfer of Iranian oil revenue that had been frozen by South Korea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the remarks, said, “There aren’t any contacts with Donald Trump.”

“Regarding (US-Russian) contacts on the matter of incarcerated and convicted individuals, we can say that these contacts must be carried out in total secrecy. This is the only way they can be effective,” he said.

Gershkovich, 32, has been held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison for more than a year after he was arrested while on a reporting trip to Russia.

He is the first Western journalist since the Soviet era to be arrested by Moscow on spying charges — accusations that he, his employer and the US government reject.

The US ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, visited Gershkovich in prison on Thursday.

He “maintains a positive attitude, awaiting the start of the court process for a case about a crime that he did not commit,” the US embassy said in a statement on platform Telegram.

“We once more urge the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich.”

The Biden administration said in late 2023 that it made a “significant proposal” to Russia to free Gershkovich, likely as part of a prisoner swap, but that Moscow rejected it.

US intelligence concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump in his upset defeat of Hillary Clinton, including through social media postings.

Trump angrily denied his victory was the work of Russia and, at a famous news conference with Putin, appeared to accept the Russian leader’s denial of interference.

Putin in the latest election cycle has said he prefers Biden, comments met with skepticism by many Russia watchers who believe Putin’s intention may be to use his notoriety to boost Trump.


G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine

G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine
Updated 22 min 47 sec ago
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G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine

G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine
  • Using Russian assets for Ukraine not simple, G7 chair says
  • Agreement on Ukraine loan seen ‘in principle’
STRESA, Italy: G7 finance chiefs are not expected to agree on details of a loan for Ukraine at their meeting in Italy starting on Friday, several officials said, leaving much work ahead in coming weeks or months to secure more financing for the war-torn country.
The United States has been pushing its allies to agree to a loan backed by the future income from some $300 billion of Russian assets frozen shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the loan could amount to some $50 billion, but that no amounts have been agreed. Other G7 officials involved in the negotiations voiced caution, citing thorny legal and technical aspects to be hammered out.
“With great difficulty we have found a compromise for the use of the interest (already accrued),” Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti told reporters, referring to a deal already struck by the European Union.
“The problem is how the legal basis for this can be used for future profits.”
Giorgetti, who will chair the meeting as Italy holds the G7 presidency this year, said finding a solution “will not be simple,” and added that several central banks had expressed reservations over the US proposal.
Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Seven industrial democracies — the US, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada — are meeting in the northern Italian lakeside town of Stresa on Friday and Saturday.
One European official said the communique at the end of the meeting would probably include an agreement on a loan in principle, but no details.
“I don’t think there will be any numbers,” the official said when asked about the $50 billion figure.
“There will be no decisions on the matter taken at Stresa,” another European official said.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner also said many questions remained open and he did not expect the G7 to reach any concrete decision at the Stresa gathering.
In that case, officials will continue to negotiate in the hope of making progress by the time G7 heads of government meet in the southern Italian region of Puglia on June 13-15.
Yellen, at a news conference on Thursday, said she expected a “general agreement on the concept” of using the earnings from Russian assets to provide Ukraine with significant financial support beyond 2025.
A key condition for European Union countries, where most of the assets are held, is to not confiscate the asset principal and harness only the earnings.
Giorgetti said a loan backed by future income from the frozen assets would meet with Russian retaliation, and stressed any deal must have a “solid legal basis,” echoing comments made this week by Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki.
Under the proposal being discussed, the loan would be disbursed to Kyiv in one lump sum, Giorgetti said, and could possibly be issued by the G7 countries directly rather than through a global financial institution such as the World Bank.

Ex-junta chief sworn in as Chad’s elected president

Ex-junta chief sworn in as Chad’s elected president
Updated 28 min 21 sec ago
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Ex-junta chief sworn in as Chad’s elected president

Ex-junta chief sworn in as Chad’s elected president

N’DJAMENA: General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who has led Chad’s military junta for three years, was sworn in as president on Thursday after an election victory contested by the opposition.

Deby officially won 61 percent of the May 6 vote that international NGOs said was neither credible nor free and which his main rival called a “masquerade.”

Taking the oath of office, Deby said he swore “before the Chadian people... to fulfil the high functions that the nation has entrusted in us.”

Eight African heads of state as well as Constitutional Council members and hundreds of guests watched as the 40-year-old, dressed in his customary white boubou, was inaugurated as president at the Palace of Arts and Culture in the capital N’Djamena.

The presidential term runs for five years and can be renewed once.

In a speech he had earlier declared a “return to constitutional order” and pledged to be “the president of Chadians from all backgrounds and of all sensibilities.”

Deby was proclaimed transitional president in April 2021 by a junta of 15 generals after his father, iron-fisted president Idriss Deby Itno, was shot dead by rebels after 30 years in power.

The swearing-in marks the end of three years of military rule in a country crucial to the fight against jihadism across Africa’s restive Sahel region.

In 2021, Deby was quickly endorsed by an international community led by France, whose forces in recent years have been ousted by military regimes in its other former colonies Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

The investiture ceremony also makes official what the opposition has denounced as a Deby dynasty.

Former ambassador to China Allamaye Halina was named prime minister, according to a presidential decree read out on public television later on Thursday.

His predecessor Succes Masra, one of Deby’s fiercest opponents before becoming prime minister, handed in his resignation on Wednesday in the wake of his party’s election defeat after just four months in office.

Masra, an economist who won 18.5 percent of the vote, contested the results and did not attend the inauguration.

He had claimed victory after the first round of voting but faced accusations of being a junta stooge by the opposition, which has been violently repressed in Chad, with its top members barred from the election.

After the Constitutional Council rejected Masra’s bid to annul the result, he said there was “no other national legal recourse” and called on supporters to “remain mobilized” but “peaceful.”

Deby’s own cousin Yaya Dillo Djerou, who had emerged as the leading opposition candidate to the general, was shot and killed at point-blank range during an army assault on February 28, his party said.

The turnout of heads of state at the investiture was an opportunity to gauge international support for the president.

The eight who were present were all from African nations. Other countries were represented by ministers or ambassadors.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who traveled to N’Djamena in 2021 to pay homage to the late Marshal Deby in front of his son and successor, sent his minister for foreign trade and Francophonie, Franck Riester.

Chad, one of the world’s poorest nations, is France’s last military foothold in the Sahel region, with 1,000 soldiers, and Macron was one of few leaders to publicly congratulate Deby on his election.

Several Sahel nations, reeling from jihadist insurgencies, have strengthened ties with Russia after severing them with Paris.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first to congratulate Deby.