New Delhi (ANTARA) - G20 is not the primary forum for discussing geopolitical issues, as India's Government is facing questions on discussion of Ukraine's issue during India's forum presidency, India's G20 Additional Secretary on substantive aspects Abhay Thakur stated.

"G20 is not the primary forum on geopolitical issues. There is a primary forum for addressing such issue, and it is not the G20," Thakur stated on Monday at a press briefing when asked whether India, as the holder of the G20 presidency this year, would invite Ukraine as one of the invitee countries.

A similar statement was also made by Special Secretary on organization of India's G20 Presidency Muktesh Pardeshi.

"G20 is not a forum for deliberately discussing about geopolitical issues. This (G20) is not the principal forum to discuss geopolitics. G20 cannot resolve such issues," Pardeshi stated.

Meanwhile, India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant emphasized that the Ukraine issue is not the only big challenge facing the world.

"There is a huge challenge where numerous people have lost their jobs, and actions on SDGs is also a challenge. There is a huge challenge where one-third of the world is being hit by inflation and economic slowdown. In addition to all of these, we have the challenge of supplies of food, fuel, and fertilizer," Kant explained.

"Hence, let me just say that there is a challenge and important issue of Ukraine, but there are many more important issues. From the global perspective, it is very important to bring up about development, SDGs, climate action, technological transformation issues, so that we are able to bring impact to the wide segment of the public, and do not get obsessed just by one issue," he affirmed.
India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant (center) at a press briefing in New Delhi on Monday (August 14, 2023). (ANTARA/HO-India's Ministry of External Affairs)
He added that the G20 must be a forum that focuses on development and growth.

"G20 is a development forum. It is a forum to drive growth and financial inclusion, and I think the G20 must focus on all these development issues and that is really the key to going forward," he remarked.

Regarding the list of invitee countries, Kant noted that India has invited nine other countries apart from the G20 members. Those nine invitee countries are Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mauritius, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, the Netherlands, Oman, and Singapore.

Moreover, he assured that India's presidency will bring the G20 to be more focused on an amicable solution to the global challenges and growth and other issues that become concerns of the wider citizens of the world instead of focus on geopolitical issues.

"There will be a New Delhi Leaders' Declaration that is filled with great optimism and hopes. You can be assured the declaration will be very decisive, inclusive, ambitious, and action-oriented," Kant concluded.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan's Hiroshima.

Modi had stated that the Russia-Ukraine conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy. He said that India advocates such measures to resolve disputes and prioritize the well-being of people affected by the rising costs of essentials.

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