G7 Summit 2021: EAM S Jaishankar Joins G7 Meeting Virtually After His Delegation Members Test Positive for COVID-19 in London
London, May 5: External Affairs Minister Jaishankar on Wednesday joined the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting in London virtually after he decided to withdraw from the face-to-face meetings because of possible exposure to coronavirus.
The minister participated in discussions with the other foreign ministers via videolink instead to focus on new ways to ensure fairer access to vaccine stockpiles and increase support for the global vaccine distribution scheme known as COVAX. Also on Wednesday’s agenda for the G7 talks is media freedom, arbitrary detention and girls’ education.
“A cyber participation at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. So far, yet so near,” Jaishankar tweeted along with an image of him joining the discussions from his hotel room. G7 Summit 2021: India’s Delegation Self-Isolating After Two Members Test COVID-19 Positive, EAM S Jaishankar Says Will Attend Meetings Virtually.
Members of the small delegation accompanying Jaishankar to the UK tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the minister to take his remaining schedule here virtual as a “measure of abundant caution”.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said it deeply regrets the Indian minister was unable to attend in person but that the “strict COVID protocols and daily testing” are in place for the summit to address such cases.
The minister is in the UK at the invitation of UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab for the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting as one of the guest ministers along with Australia, India, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, as well as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as part of Britain’s Indo-Pacific strategy to unite the world’s major democracies. Members in EAM S Jaishankar’s Delegation to UK Test COVID-19 Positive, Schedule Modified.
The Group of Seven ministers are made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the UK as well as the European Union (EU). They began their talks earlier this week with an agenda set by the UK as the host nation that revolves around addressing threats to global democracy.
This G7 Foreign Ministers summit is the first in-person summit since the pandemic and the first to be hosted at a COVID-secure venue. The protocols in place involve staff and delegates required to complete daily COVID-19 tests throughout the summit before entering any of the venues.
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