Biden shakes hand with saudi crown prince, address Ukraine war and pays tribute to Gandhi at the concluded G2o summit.

President Biden’s Tribute to Gandhi at G20’s Conclusion

In a symbolic gesture, President Joe Biden paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by wearing slippers during a visit to the Raj Ghat memorial in New Delhi, his final official engagement at the G20 summit. This act stood in contrast to other world leaders who went barefoot for the occasion.

Warm Exchange with Indian Prime Minister Modi

Upon his arrival at the memorial, President Biden engaged in conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who presented him with a matching scarf. Afterward, all the leaders gathered around wreaths placed around an ornate floral display containing an eternal flame. During this time, President Biden conversed animatedly with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before participating in a moment of silence. Following this tribute, President Biden departed for Vietnam for meetings and a press conference.

G20 Summit Outcomes

The G20 Leaders’ Summit produced a joint declaration that addressed the Ukraine conflict, even securing Russia’s agreement. Notably, the statement did not explicitly label Russia as an aggressor but did condemn the use or threat of nuclear weapons.

The summit also officially welcomed the African Union, with Indian Prime Minister Modi making this announcement. Additionally, leaders from the U.S., India, Europe, and the Middle East unveiled a project aimed at establishing rail, shipping, and tech corridors to enhance regional economic ties, particularly in the Middle East.

Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

The G20 brought President Biden face-to-face with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), sparking interest in a potential “mega-deal” between the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel to normalize relations. However, the White House did not indicate whether this deal was discussed during the trip.

Notable Absences

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping were notably absent from the summit. Putin sent Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his place due to concerns about war crimes allegations. Xi sent Premier Li Qiang, prompting White House officials to express disappointment with China’s absence.

Welcoming Atmosphere in India

Indian Prime Minister Modi hosted the world leaders with a series of festivities, including a vegetarian feast. President Biden was greeted by the U.S. ambassador to India and was treated to a musical performance upon his arrival. He then met with Modi, while U.S. journalists faced access challenges.

Press Access and Challenges

Press access became a contentious issue during the summit. Although the meeting took place at the prime minister’s residence, U.S. journalists faced limitations. Only two U.S. journalists were granted access to the opening G20 session, with the U.S. reporter lacking translation assistance as Modi spoke in Hindi.

Democracy and Freedom Discussions

U.S. officials highlighted India’s progress and challenges in democratic freedoms, including freedom of the press. They emphasized maintaining respectful dialogue and discussing democracy issues during conversations with Indian leaders.

In summary, President Biden’s tribute to Gandhi marked the conclusion of the G20 summit, where significant discussions took place on international issues. The absence of Putin and Xi, along with press access challenges, added to the summit’s dynamics.

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