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Jaishankar set for G7 ministers’ meeting in UK

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will on Monday begin a four-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting and to hold bilateral meetings with British interlocutors
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 03, 2021 01:34 AM IST

External affairs minister S Jaishankar will on Monday begin a four-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting and to hold bilateral meetings with British interlocutors.

The UK is hosting the first in-person G7 foreign ministers meeting in two years, in London, from May 3 to 5. India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa and the chair and secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have been invited as guests.

Jaishankar will “thereafter undertake a bilateral visit to the UK”, the external affairs ministry said.

This will be Jaishankar’s first visit abroad since India was hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections. It will come ahead of a virtual meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

The G7 foreign ministers’ meeting will focus on geopolitical priorities, such as Russia, China and Iran, the British foreign office said in a tweet. It will also take up global challenges, including climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and famine.

“It will also draw on broader experience with guest delegates from the Indo-Pacific region,” the foreign office added.

British authorities have put in place strict Covid-secure measures for the meeting.

There will be daily Covid-19 tests throughout the meeting, including self-test kits and an on-site testing facility, strict guidelines on social distancing, with limitations on the size of delegations. The delegates will be separated by perspex screens.

The meeting is a “crucial opportunity to revitalise in-person diplomacy and will look to establish a shared approach among the world’s leading democracies on equitable vaccine access, to agree global girls’ education targets, rigorous goals on climate finance and new measures to prevent famine and food insecurity”, the foreign office said.

The last G7 foreign ministers meeting was held at Dinard and Saint-Malo in France in April 2019.

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