Minister Narendra Modi today called for a concerted global crackdown on nations supporting terrorism for their political goals and named Pakistan-based groups LeT and JeM among major terror outfits alongside the Al-Qaeda and ISIS at the G20 Summit. As the G20 leaders put their heads together for a solution on issues like terrorism, climate change, and open trade, Modi delivered a strong message against terrorism and also pitched for a ban on the entry of officials from terrorism-supporting countries into G-20 nations. As the summit got underway in this German port city amid violent protests, German Chancellor and host Angela Merkel even favoured a “compromise” solution if there was no consensus on contentious issues while India appeared on the majority side of the countries seeking decisive action in the fight against global warming, protectionism and terror financing. At the venue, police had to resort to water canon, tear gas and pepper spray to deal with the anti-globalisation protesters.
In the evening, the G20 leaders pledged to crackdown on terror safe havens and curb radicalisation through the internet and social media. The declaration also found mention of various issues raised by Modi in his statement at the leaders’ retreat earlier in the morning. On the sidelines of the Summit, Modi had an interaction with Chinese President Xi Jinping even as tensions remain high between India and China in the Sikkim section. Both leaders had a conversation on a “range of issues” at an informal meeting of BRICS leaders.
In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Modi and Xi discussed “a range of issues” at the BRICS leaders’ informal gathering in Hamburg “hosted by China.” He did not elaborate on the issues discussed. Later, in an address to BRICS leaders, Modi “appreciated” momentum in the bloc under the Chinese chairmanship and extended full cooperation for the grouping’s upcoming summit in China. He also extended full cooperation and best wishes to China for the next BRICS summit in Xiamen later this year.
“Under Xi’s chairmanship, the progress and positive momentum of BRICS have further deepened our cooperation,” Modi said. Modi said BRICS has been a strong voice and needs to show leadership on terrorism and global economy, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. It quoted Modi as saying that G20 nations should also “collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support, and sponsors.”
In his speech, Xi also appreciated the momentum witnessed at the BRICS bloc during India’s chairmanship before it was passed on to China, and praised India’s strong resolve against terrorism, the press release said. It quoted Xi as saying he appreciates India’s success in economic and social development and wishes India even bigger success. Stressing that there should be no “safe spaces” for terrorist financing anywhere in the world, the G20 nations expressed their commitment to intensify capacity building and technical assistance, especially in relation to terrorist financing hot-spots.
“We will advance the effective implementation of the international standards on transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements for the purposes of countering financing terrorism,” they said in the joint declaration. At the G20 meet, Modi said that it was “mandatory” to implement the consensus of the Paris agreement on climate change and asserted that India would implement the accord in “letter and spirit”.
He also asked leaders from the G20 nations to be forthcoming on the climate change action as he emphasised the need for cooperation in the world of opposing realities. The statement came against the backdrop of the US pulling out of the Paris climate change pact last month. Modi held bilateral meetings with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with informal interactions with a number of world leaders on the sidelines of the Summit.
The Prime Minister also had a brief chat with US President Donald Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and other top leaders. At the BRICS leaders’ gathering here, Modi held informal meetings with Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma. A briefing by India was cancelled. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Summit.
Later in the evening, the leaders attended a musical concert at the city’s newly opened Elbphilharmonie concert house, where Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra played the European Union’s unofficial anthem, ‘The Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. After the concert, Merkel was to host dinner for the leaders and their partners. At that time, the government heads are expected to have informal discussions on various issues that may have a bearing on the final communique.