G20 Summit in Kashmir: Countries that opted to skip the meeting

India is all set to host the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar on 22-24 May amid heightened security in the region. Since losing its special status in 2019 and being divided into two Union territories, this is Jammu and Kashmir’s first significant international event. In the lead-up to the summit in New Delhi in September, the country has scheduled a number of meetings across the nation.

The event is anticipated to draw about 60 G20 delegates. Earlier, it was anticipated that more than 100 delegates would attend the meeting. With just days on hand, let’s take a look at the countries that are likely to skip the meeting.

Countries that are skipping the meet
China, which skipped a G20 meeting held in Arunachal Pradesh in March, on Friday confirmed that it won’t attend the event. “China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory, and will not attend such meetings,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, according to PTI.

India has countered the objection saying it is free to hold meetings on its own territory. It said on Friday peace and tranquillity on its border are essential for normal ties with China. The Hindu reported that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have not yet registered for the summit, and Turkey has chosen not to attend. It should be noted here that in the past, Turkey has already questioned India’s handling of the Kashmir problem.

Countries that have registered
India’s position is considered as being supported by the involvement of the world’s most influential club. The G20 also consists of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the European Union.

The remaining countries’ delegates have registered for the three-day conference, according to officials. Along with G20 members, representatives from a number of international institutions and guest nations have also been invited.

Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates are a few of these. Apart from Egypt, all other nations, according to officials, have registered to send delegates.

G20 meet in Kashmir
The tourist working group has had two previous meetings, one each in Siliguri and Darjeeling and Rann of Kutch. According to authorities, the event would also feature G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and G20 Chief Coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla in addition to Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and MoS Jitendra Singh, reported Indian Express.

Before the final ministerial statement is written, Singh stated that the discussions from the first two meetings of the working group on tourism will be continued. Next month in Goa, the tourism track group’s fourth meeting will be followed by a ministerial gathering. According to officials, the purpose of the G20 meeting in Srinagar is to highlight the tourism potential of Kashmir and to demonstrate to the outside world how important it is for the country as a whole.

Security personnel have information that terrorists might attempt to carry out a significant attack to cause disruption at the G20 meeting. To foil any such effort, Srinagar is protected by an extraordinary level of security. As part of the ground-to-air security cover, Marine commandos and National Security Guards (NSG) have been stationed in the area.

Marines also referred to as Marcos, are now in charge of maintaining security around the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), where the G20 meeting will take place and Dal Lake, reported NDTV. In conjunction with law enforcement and paramilitary groups, NSG commandos have been practising area dominance. NSG conducted searches at Lal Chowk on Thursday. Paramilitary soldiers were observed conducting searches inside the houseboats.

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