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Putin and Xi Jinping likely to meet new PM as trio set to attend G20 summit in Indonesia

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Indonesia is chairing the Group of 20 major economies and has faced pressure from Western countries to withdraw its invitation to Putin over his country’s invasion on Ukraine, which his government calls a “special military operation”. The Indonesian President Widodo has sought to position himself as a mediator between the warring countries and has travelled to meet both Ukraine and Russia’s Presidents.

He travelled to Kyiv and Moscow in late June to meet his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts, Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin, in a diplomatic effort to help ease the ongoing war’s impact on the international community.

This week, Mr Widodo said both countries have accepted Indonesia as a “bridge of peace”.

He told Bloomberg: “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come.”

The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Neither did Indonesia presidential palace officials immediately respond to requests for comment.

Leaders of major countries, including US President Joe Biden and Boris Johnson’s successor, are set to meet in Indonesia’s resort island of Bali in November.

Indonesia has also invited Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is standing at the “peak” of global leadership, President Joko Widodo said in his annual state address on Tuesday, as he hailed the country’s growing stature amid efforts to bridge peace between Russia and Ukraine, and the nation heading several world multilateral bodies.

He was the first Asian leader to meet both Zelensky and Putin since the beginning of the invasion in late February.

He said in parliament, a day ahead of the country’s celebrations of 77 years of independence: “Indonesia was accepted by Russia and Ukraine as a bridge of peace. Accepted by big countries, even when the geopolitical (situation) is heated.”

The visit came as the Southeast Asian nation — which has refused to impose sanctions on Moscow — is chairing the Group of 20 biggest economies this year and will host the grouping’s summit in November.

Mr Widodo is one of six world leaders selected as “champions” of the UN’s Global Crisis Response Group.

Next year, Indonesia will hold the rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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He said: “In 2022, we hold the presidency of the G20, an international forum made up of the world’s largest economies. Next year, we will assume the chairmanship of ASEAN.

“This indicates that we are at the peak of global leadership.”

The President added that the international community’s trust in Indonesia has “increased sharply,” which in turn gave the country a big opportunity to build global partnerships.

With its population of 280 million, Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest economies, posting consistent annual growth of around 6 percent.

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