Thursday, 1 December, 2022
E-paper

Indonesia president tells G20 leaders they 'must end war'

Indonesian President Joko Widodo told G20 members to "end the war" as he opened a leaders' summit Tuesday in Bali that will be dominated by Russia's invasion of 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.

Eyeing a joint G20 declaration that would condemn Russia's eight-month-old invasion and threats to use nuclear weapons, US and European officials painted the summit in Bali as evidence of Russia's deepening isolation.

But Jakarta pursues a neutral foreign policy and rebuffed Western pressure to disinvite Moscow ahead of the meeting.

Without mentioning Russia by name, Widodo called on members to not allow another Cold War between major powers.

"We should not divide the world into parts. We must not allow the world to fall into another Cold War," he said.

Russia is being represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, with President Vladimir Putin shunning the gathering.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the meeting virtually.

G20 leaders are gathered in Bali as soaring inflation stoked by Moscow's invasion drives millions more into poverty and tips several nations toward recession.

US allies hope the economic headwinds created by the war will bring over G20 nations that, while cautious about denouncing Russia, are deeply concerned about rising prices.

Widodo said the bloc of the world's major economies must succeed in tackling the world's most pressing crises.

"Today, the world's eye is on us. Will we score a success? Or will we add one more failure?" he told delegates.

"For me, the G20 must be successful, it must not fail."