SRINAGAR: The G20 Working Group meet on Tourism, scheduled to take place in Srinagar, is approaching in merely two days. However, there have been recent developments regarding the attendance of certain countries. China has officially stated that it will not participate in the event, while the Indian government has disclosed that Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt are yet to confirm their attendance. This indicates that these countries are also likely to skip the meeting, as reported by The Hindu.
“A total of 60 international delegates have registered so far for the Third working group meeting to be held from May 22-24,” Union Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh as per The Hindu said on May 19, briefing the media in Delhi.
“A total of 17 G-20 member countries have confirmed their participation till now. Those who have still not registered are China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The number of invited countries is 9 out of which only Egypt has not registered so far, Singh added.
However, China later said it won’t participate. “China is firmly opposed to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory, and will not attend such meetings,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
China had earlier skipped G-20 meetings in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh, which it considers “disputed territory” and its decision not to send a delegation to Srinagar is understood to be in line with that. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are all members of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that had been very critical of India’s changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, ahead of the meeting in Srinagar, officials said security arrangements are being supervised directly by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the city has been spruced up to host the delegates. A visit to one of the Smart City projects in Srinagar is also likely to be included. Officials said that hotel staff and emergency-service providers have also been sensitised.
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