Washington | The US lauded India for hosting the G20 summit, calling it a big "success" and hailing the landmark 'India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor' which will usher in a new era of connectivity from Europe to Asia and will stimulate economic growth across the two continents.
The G20 Leaders' two-day summit, held under India's presidency, wrapped up on Sunday. On Saturday, the ambitious India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) was jointly announced by the leaders of the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union on the sidelines of the summit in New Delhi.
The new economic corridor is seen as an alternative to China's controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
During a regular press briefing on Monday, the US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters," It was a landmark India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) that we believe will usher in a new era of connectivity from Europe to Asia that will stimulate economic growth, economic development across the two continents, as well as cooperation on energy and digital connectivity." “The memorandum of understanding is among the United States, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, EU, and other G20 partners to explore a shipping and rail transportation corridor that will enable the flow of commerce, energy, and data from India, the Middle East, and Europe,” he said in response to a question.
Miller said that the recently concluded G20 Summit in New Delhi was a big success.
“We absolutely believe that it was a success,” he said.
“First, with respect to the statement, the G20 is a big organisation. Russia is a member of the G20; China is a member of the G20. There are members that have a diverse range of views. We believe the fact that the organisation was able to issue a statement that calls for respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty and saying that those principles should not be violated is an extremely important statement because that is exactly what is at the heart of Russia's invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
“It is those very questions. So we thought that was an incredibly important statement for them to make. You also saw important announcements made at the G20 about new economic arrangements between Saudi Arabia and India that the United States was a part of,” Miller said.
“With respect to (Chinese) President Xi Jinping not attending – I'm not going to speak to whether President Xi should have attended or should not have attended. I will say we found it incredibly productive for President Biden and Secretary Blinken to be there, engaging directly with their counterparts,” he said.
“There is no substitute for that, and we found it incredibly productive for the interests of the United States to be able to have those conversations and advance them. As the White House made public over the weekend, in addition to the sessions, the President had a number of pull-asides with leaders of other countries where we were actively advancing the foreign policy priorities of the United States, including engaging on the war in Ukraine,” Miller said.
India managed to hammer out an unexpected consensus among the G20 countries on the contentious Ukraine conflict through a series of hectic negotiations with emerging economies such as Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia playing a leading role in reaching the agreement on the declaration on the first day of the summit.
The G20 member countries represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union. On Saturday, the African Union was admitted as G20's permanent member.