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Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], September 17 (ANI): Regarding the African Union becoming a permanent member of the G20 grouping, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "took the lead" as he was very clear about it.

The External Affairs Minister made the remarks in an address to students of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram today.

Jaishankar said, "He (PM Modi) took the lead...when we got the presidency (G20), he was very clear...he wrote to other 19 leaders saying this is India's firm view and asked for their opinion...""If we are now trying to build a more socially just country within India, should we not have a socially just international order?... Look at the suffering Africa has gone through...so it is the 'leave no one behind' thinking that motivated us to push for it," he added.

In his opening remarks at the 18th G20 Leaders' Summit on September 9, PM Modi invited the African Union, represented by Assoumani, to take a seat at the table of G20 leaders as a permanent member.

The African Union chairperson expressed his gratitude to the G20 member countries for the historic inclusion of the bloc in the G20 family. Assoumani took to his official handle on 'X' to post, "The G20 has just ratified, through the voice of the Prime Minister of India, @narendramodi, the admission of the @_AfricanUnion into its fold. On behalf of the African continent, I sincerely thank all the member countries of @g20org for this historic admission."Earlier on Sunday, PM Modi called the inclusion of the African Union in the G20 a "significant stride" towards a more inclusive global dialogue. He stated that India was looking forward to collaborative efforts that benefit the entire world. African Union is a union consisting of 55 member states in Africa.

The move to include the African Union in the G20 grouping was proposed by PM Modi earlier this June.

The External Affairs Minister further spoke on Artemis Accords and stated, "We bring value to the table.. building on achievements...," as he pointed towards India joining US lead Artemis during PM Modi's US visit.

During his US visit, PM Modi made the announcement that India joined the Artemis Accords on June 22.

Thanking PM Modi for the same, US Vice President Kamala Harris had said, "When you and I first met at the White House, I asked you to join the Artemis Accords, a commitment to safe and transparent use of space, and today I am happy to report that you have joined the Artemis ACCORDS.""And there is a point of personal privilege. As chair of the National Space Council, I thank you for your leadership in space and for our joint work on our earth-science satellite which will help us address the climate crisis," Harris had said earlier. (ANI)

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