India External Affairs minister pulls out of G7 meeting in London due to possible COVID-19 exposure

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 4: (from the left) Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu, European High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas and French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, during talks at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting at Lancaster House on May 4, 2021 in London, England. The representatives from G7 countries are meeting face-to-face for the first time in two years, ahead of the G7 Leaders’ Summit to be held in June. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

India’s foreign minister,  Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, has pulled out of in-person meetings at a Group of Seven gathering in London because of possible exposure to COVID-19.

In a tweet, Jaishankar said that “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.”

Britain’s Foreign Office, which organized the meeting, did not immediately confirm whether any delegates had tested positive.

Diplomats from the G-7 group of wealthy nations are meeting in London for their first face-to-face gathering in two years. Delegates have been observing social distancing and are separated by transparent screens in meetings, and delegates are tested daily for the virus.

Although it is not a G7 member, India, along with South Africa, South Korea and Australia was invited as a guest for the second day of the meeting on Wednesday.

The Foreign Office said it regretted that Jaishankar could not attend the meeting in person, “but this is exactly why we have put in place strict COVID protocols and daily testing.”



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