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India’s Modi stakes reputation on bringing together a G20 beset by international crises

Can Narendra Modi be the ‘universal mentor’ for a G20 that is more divided than ever? Shweta Sharma reports

Thursday 02 March 2023 20:59 GMT
The Indian prime minister during a speech last week in Delhi
The Indian prime minister during a speech last week in Delhi (EPA)

Foreign ministers from the world’s leading economies will descend on Delhi from Wednesday for the most significant event yet of India’s G20 presidency, with host Narendra Modi’s ambitions as a global leader on the line.

The Indian government’s preparations for this week’s meeting have included the sprucing up of various thoroughfares and venues across the capital and the positioning of India as “the voice of the global south”. Giant G20 logos have popped up across the country that feature a globe revolving on a lotus flower – the lotus, coincidentally, being the symbol of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

India hopes that it can convince as many foreign ministers as possible to stay on after the G20 meeting for its annual Raisina Dialogue, a geopolitical conference organised by the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation that will welcome Italy’s far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni as its chief guest.

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