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Now is not the time for geopolitical rivalry, says Jokowi as he kicks off G20 finance ministers meeting

Now is not the time for geopolitical rivalry, says Jokowi as he kicks off G20 finance ministers meeting

In this photo released by Indonesian Presidential Palace, Indonesian President Joko Widodo removes his mask during the virtual ASEAN-China leaders' summit at the State Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. (Indonesian Presidential Palace via AP)

JAKARTA: Indonesia President Joko Widodo said on Thursday (Feb 17) that with the global economy still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is not the time to create geopolitical rivalry and tensions such as what is happening in Ukraine.

Kicking off a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) major economies, the Indonesian leader noted that the pandemic is not yet over. He said that the world economy is still reeling and no single country can rise up alone. All countries are interconnected, he added.

The revival of one area will awaken another, and the collapse of one area will also cause the collapse of other areas, said Mr Widodo, who is the current G20 president. 

“In a situation like this, this is not the time for rivalry. This is not the time to create new tensions that disrupt the world's recovery, let alone endanger the safety of the world, as is happening in Ukraine today.

“Now all parties must stop the rivalry and tension,” Mr Widodo urged.  

Tensions have been rising in Ukraine in recent days after Russia, a member of the G20, massed thousands of troops along Ukraine’s border, prompting the United States and the United Kingdom to urge Moscow to take a step back. The US and UK are also members of the G20. 

Meanwhile, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said on Monday that he was “deeply worried” about the threat of conflict.

Jokowi, as the Indonesian leader is popularly known, on Thursday also called on countries to focus on synergies and collaboration to save the world and quickly recover from the pandemic.

“I hope that this synergy will result in concrete and collaborative steps, which can be implemented immediately, with immediate results. Recover together, recover stronger,” he said, highlighting Indonesia’s G20’s presidency tagline. 

The G20 finance leaders meeting in Jakarta will take place for two days, and will also discuss an exit strategy for monetary policy, high global inflation and vaccine distribution. 

A communique is expected to be issued at the end of the two-day meeting on Friday. 

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Source: CNA/aw

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