The entire Indian delegation for the G7 summit in London was on Wednesday asked to self isolate after some of its members tested positive for Covid-19. In a tweet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is heading the Indian delegation at the G7 summit in London, revealed he is attending the meetings virtually because he may have been exposed to the infection.
“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,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Posting a picture of him attending the meeting virtually, he tweeted, “A cyber participation at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. So far, yet so near.”
Jaishankar also revealed he had a useful virtual meeting with the Foreign Minister of Canada, Marc Garneau, on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
"Discussed our respective Covid challenges. Talked about various aspects of our bilateral relationship. Also exchanged views on Myanmar,” he said.
The Indian delegation, as per the British media, had tested negative for Covid-19 before departing for the UK. But on arrival in London, in the tests conducted by Public Health England (PHE), 2 of the members tested positive.
British media reported all physical meetings between the Indian delegates and their counterparts from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US were cancelled immediately. The meetings are being held virtually.
Ties with China in very difficult phase: Minister
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said India's relations with China is going through a “very difficult phase" and New Delhi has made it clear to Beijing peace and tranquility on the border is "absolutely essential" for good relations. At a Global Dialogue Series event, Jaishankar said, "The relationship is going through a very difficult phase because in violation of agreements and understandings of many years, the Chinese have deployed a very large part of the military on/close to LAC without explanation." On current relations with China, the minister said India one can't have friction, bloodshed on the borders and then say let's have a good relationship in other domains. "We've been very clear with the Chinese that peace and tranquility on the border and border areas is absolutely essential to the development of our relationship. One can't have friction, bloodshed, intimidation on the borders and then say let's have a good relationship in other domains," said Jaishankar. Noting the two sides have made progress, he said, "We haven't come to the de-escalation part of it which will follow after disengagement is done. Last conversation with China was focused on Covid and the Chinese Foreign Minister also said the same to me."
It is a war, stop point-scoring: Jaishankar
Noting India is facing Covid surge due to virulent variants of coronavirus, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said it is a war against the virus and societies are defined by their abilities to come together when faced by crisis of this magnitude. In an interview with ANI, Jaishankar admitted there is politics around Covid situation and said there is need to pause point-scoring as the country has a serious national crisis.