Shadow of Paris attacks looms over Turkey G20 Summit

London/New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) The G20 Summit in Turkey beginning from Sunday was likely to be overshadowed by Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, with French President Francois Hollande cancelling his visit and declaring a state of emergency following 127 deaths in the attacks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who condemned the attack and described it as “anguishing and dreadful”, is to leave Britain later on Saturday for the summit.

US President Barack Obama, who denounced the act as outrageous and gruesome, is also scheduled to attend the summit.

“News from Paris is anguishing and dreadful. Prayers with families of the deceased. We are united with people of France in this tragic hour,” Modi tweeted.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said: “I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Paris, India stands firmly by France. My heart goes out to its people.”

Turkey has already been indicating that it wants to discuss the issues of security and terrorism, specially with reference to Syria and Iraq, at the summit. In fact, terrorists who carried out the Paris attacks were heard shouting, “This is for Syria.”

At a media briefing held in New Delhi earlier this week ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s departure for Britain and Turkey, Arvind Panagariya, vice chairman of NITI Aayog and India’s sherpa at the G20, was asked about India’s stand on this.

“Broadly, this is a discussion on terrorism and India does have a position on that,” Panagariya said. “The prime minister has spoken on it several times. So, generally we have a shared agenda or a shared view with the Turks on that.”

Other leaders expected at the G20 Summit include Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Besides India, France, the US and Turkey, the G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and the European Union.

Originally formed at the level of finance ministers and central bank governors in 1999 after the East Asian economic crisis, the G20 assumed significance after its elevation to a summit-level forum in 2008, following the global financial crisis.

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