Center “P20 Summit: Diplomatic Tensions and Global Participation”

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Amid the diplomatic dispute between India and Canada, the Speaker of the Canadian Senate, Raymonde Gagne, will not be attending the two-day G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit (P20 Summit) starting on Friday.

Previously, the Lok Sabha Speaker’s office had announced that Gagne would participate in the summit. However, Birla, speaking to reporters last week, mentioned informal discussions with the Canadian Speaker.

Sources revealed that the Canadian Speaker will not be attending the Summit, citing changing schedules. No explanation was given for Canada’s decision, and it is uncertain if Canada will be represented at the meeting.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed the news, stating that India had extended invitations to all G20 members and guest countries, leaving the decision to participate up to them.

Among the members of the intelligence-sharing network, which includes the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the US is also skipping the summit. With their last Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, removed from the position, the US has yet to appoint a new Speaker. While New Zealand is not among the invitees, the UK and Australia will be present at the summit.

Official sources reported that Germany and Argentina are also not attending the summit due to “internal reasons.”

While Prime Minister will inaugurate the P20 Summit at Yashobhoomi in Dwarka on Friday, a pre-summit Parliamentary Forum on LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) was held on Thursday.

According to a government statement earlier this week, over 200 parliamentarians and other leaders from different countries have confirmed their participation at the summit.

“The main theme of the ninth P20 is proposed to be ‘Parliaments for One Earth, One Family, One Future,'” Birla had stated earlier. “It will have four sessions on ‘transformation in people’s lives through public digital platforms,’ ‘women-led development,’ ‘accelerating SDGs,’ and ‘sustainable energy transition.'”

India’s relationship with Canada has been tense following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of a potential Indian government connection to the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has dismissed the claim as “absurd” and “motivated,” and has accused Ottawa of failing to take action against Khalistan separatists in Canada.

Divya A reports on culture, tourism, media, broadcasting, and visa issues.

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