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US, UK want India in expanded G-7

India may be invited to join the G-7 grouping if proposals by the US and the UK for its expansion are accepted by the other five members —- Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and France. Senior officials of G-7 countries are expected to discuss the expansion in the weeks leading to a rescheduled summit in the US in September.

Seeking the entry of four countries in the G-7 with the express purpose of isolating China, US President Donald Trump said he would invite leaders of these nations – India, Russia, Australia and South Korea – as special invitees to the rescheduled G-7 summit. Three of these countries, barring Russia, are already partnering the US in a “Quad” grouping that aims to counter Chinese assertion in South China Sea. After being isolated at the previous two summits, Trump has called the grouping “outdated”.’

If the invites are sent, India will attend its second successive G-7 summit as a special invitee. Usually, special invitees, who also include chiefs of multilateral organisations, interact for about four hours with G-7 leaders over two sessions. Then PM Manmohan Singh along with then Chinese President Hu Jintao had attended five successive G-8 (Russia was then a member) summits from 2005 onwards as part of G-5, which also included Mexico, Brazil and South Africa.

After just over a decade, India is the only survivor from that G-5 club. The other G-5 members — China, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil – do not appear to be eligible for the global high table. Trump has suggested the inclusion of India, Australia, South Korea and Russia while the UK proposal wants the G-7 to exclude Russia and include the three democracies of India, Australia and South Korea.

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