G20 leaders gather in India without Putin, Xi

Indian leaders have seen the war in Ukraine divide the members of the Group of 20 nations. They are hosting those nations for a summit starting on Saturday and making an effort to find common ground.

Leaders from the bloc that represents around 85 percent of global GDP, and two-thirds of the world population, are gathering in New Delhi for the annual G20 meeting. High-level officials met before the summit in an effort to unify their goals and issue a common statement. They have laid the groundwork for the leaders to agree on.

On Friday, Indian G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant spoke at a news conference. He said, "New Delhi Leader's Declaration is almost ready. I would not like to dwell on it, because this declaration will be recommended to the leaders, and the leaders will then accept it."

Also on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed US President Joe Biden to his residence. They have found common cause against Chinese territorial and military aggression, and they are renewing commitments on economic and security issues.

Chinese President Xi Jinping does not plan to attend the summit. Officials in Beijing have not given a reason, but he has been seen visiting areas in Heilongjiang Province hit by flooding.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also skipping the meeting. He has sent Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.

Officials in Moscow said in a statement that Lavrov is ready to debunk Western "myths" about Russian aggression and to counter attempts to blame the world's "humanitarian and economic" problems on the war in Ukraine.