External Affairs Minister Jaishankar's participation at G7 summit goes virtual over Covid worries

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, India Published: May 05, 2021, 07:08 PM(IST)

External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The EAM is in London for the G7 foreign ministers meet where India has been invited as a guest along with India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will be doing all his meetings virtually in London after he was exposed to possible Covid positive cases.

The EAM is in London for the G7 foreign ministers meet where India has been invited as a guest along with India, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has been reported that some members of the Indian delegation have been confirmed covid positive.

EAM tweeted, "Was made aware yesterday evening of exposure to possible Covid positive cases. As a measure of abundant caution and also out of consideration for others, I decided to conduct my engagements in the virtual mode. That will be the case with the G7 Meeting today as well."

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The Indian delegation had tested Covid negative when they had left for the UK on Sunday. In fact, some members of the delegation have been vaccinated as well.  

Sources said, "Working out with UK health authorities and what needs to be done." As of now, the entire Indian delegation has isolated and healthy. The Indian foreign minister is in the UK from May 3 to 6, and he is expected to come back towards the end of the week.

Today was the last day of the G7, but it was important since the focus was on the invited guest countries. Along with guest countries, foreign ministers in the G7 summit are discussing issues like n Open Societies, Vaccines/Health, Climate/Girl’s Education. EAM joined all the meetings virtually and will also call on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson virtually.

UK PM said, "I think it is very important to try to continue as much business as you can as a government. We have a very important relationship with India, with our G7 partners. As I understand, what's happened is that the individual concerned they are all isolating now. I will be seeing the Indian foreign minister later on this afternoon but that will be a zoom exchange".

In his London visit, EAM so far has met South Africa's FM Dr. Naledi Pandor, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, US Secretary of state Antony Blinken. He also had a conversation with EU FM Josep Borrell and a trilateral with French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian and Australian FM Marise Payne, but no pictures were released of the meeting. 

G7 FMs meet, along with guest countries was the biggest in-person gathering of foreign ministers amid the covid pandemic, and such physical meet is happening after a gap of over two and half years. The last meeting happened in France.

India is being invited since 2019 on a continuous basis for G7 meets, first by France, then by the US, and this year by the British. Indian PM has been invited for the leader's summit that will take place in the UK later physically, which could also see the first in-person Quad meetings as well. 

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