Indonesia’s Widodo calls on G20 to work to ‘end the war’

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Indonesian president appears to reference Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as he opens a key global summit in Bali.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has opened the G20 summit in Bali with a call for the world to “end the war” and bridge “wide differences” amid rifts over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has fuelled geopolitical tension and caused a global surge in food and energy prices.

Telling delegates that it was an honor for Indonesia to host the event, Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, on Tuesday acknowledged the mood.

“I understand we need huge efforts to be able to sit together in this room,” he said before closed-door discussions began.

The Indonesian president said the world could not afford to fall into another cold war and said G20 members must work to “end the war”, in an apparent reference to the war in Ukraine.

“Being responsible means creating not zero-sum situations, being responsible here also means that we must end the war. If the war does not end, it will be difficult for the world to move forward,” he told leaders ahead of the summit’s opening session.

The G20 groups together 19 countries and the European Union representing the world’s 20 largest economies, including Russia. It accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, and 60 percent of its population.

Indonesia has sought to be a bridge-builder and the summit is the first since Moscow sent its troops into Ukraine on February 24. Jokowi has visited Kyiv and Moscow, extending an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin despite calls within the G20 that Russia is barred.

Putin declined and is being represented in Bali by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Agencies

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