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    Getting crises in Ukraine and the Middle East under control


    The foreign ministers of the leading economic powers are meeting in Rio shortly before the second anniversary of the Russian attack on Ukraine. These are consultations in the shadow of global crises.

    Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has urged the G20 group of leading economic powers to use their weight to find a solution to the crises in Ukraine and Gaza.

    It is “more than good that Brazil now has the G20 presidency, as it focuses on climate protection and justice and then the climate conference will take place here in Brazil next year,” said the Green politician on the sidelines of the G20 deliberations. Foreign Minister in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “The truth is that we will not make this world fairer if we do not get the acute crises under control.”

    This applies to the brutal Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, but also to the situation in the Middle East, said the Federal Foreign Minister. “The effects of these two wars are hitting the poorest people the hardest around the world.” That is why it is so important that the G20, in addition to the issues of justice, climate protection and the fight against poverty, look for ways to achieve peace in Ukraine and the Middle East.

    In addition to Germany, France and the USA, the group of states also includes Russia and China, among others. The G20 represents around 80 percent of the world's economic power and 60 percent of the world's population. Brazil currently holds the presidency.

    Brazil Foreign Minister: G20 with key role in crisis resolution

    Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said his country was deeply concerned about the international security situation. The UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly are currently unable to deal with the current challenges.

    “Given the current situation, the G20 group is perhaps the most important international forum today where countries with opposing views can still come together and have productive discussions.” At the same time, there are “urgent problems to solve when it comes to development and the fight against hunger, poverty and inequality. These are the wars we have to fight in 2024.”

    Lavrov between Saudi Arabia and Mexico

    Baerbock criticized Russia as an actor sitting at the G20 table “who doesn't want to reform the international institutions like everyone else.” She did not mention Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who traveled to Rio, by name.

    Moscow wants to destroy international institutions and in particular the United Nations Charter. That's why, two years after the start of the war, “the G20's joint commitment to international law and the Charter of the United Nations is so important.”

    In the G20 round, Lavrov sat to the right of his Saudi Arabian colleague Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and to the left of Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena Ibarra. The Italian representative sat next to Ibarra, then came Baerbock.

    On the sidelines of the G20 conference, Lavrov met with his Brazilian colleague Mauro Vieira for talks in Rio. After a friendly greeting, the ministers discussed a range of bilateral and international issues, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    A bilateral meeting between Baerbock and Lavrov was not planned, as was the case at the G20 foreign ministers' meeting in India in 2023. In addition, there should be no family photo together, as was common in Ukraine before the war.

    Baerbock rejects Holocaust comparison

    Baerbock rejected statements by Brazilian President Lula that the deployment of the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip could be compared to the Holocaust. “The Holocaust cannot be compared with anything,” she said in response to a journalist's question about Lula's words. The Holocaust refers to the mass murder of millions of Jews ordered by Adolf Hitler.

    Lula compared the Israeli military operation at the African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa to the Holocaust. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz then declared Lula persona non grata and summoned the Brazilian ambassador to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. The government in Brazil, for its part, summoned the Israeli ambassador and recalled its representative in Israel for consultations.

    G20 goals of the Foreign Minister

    The Federal Foreign Minister named a reform of international organizations, the modernization of global finance and a determined fight against the climate crisis as the central G20 goals. “We need to bring international institutions to the level of the 21st century. This means ensuring greater fairness in international institutions, especially financial institutions,” she said.

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