G20 ministers’ meet ends
DPA LOS COBOS FOREIGN ministers of the G20 group of world’s 20 leading economies concluded a meeting in Mexico urging improved efficiency in international institutions.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said “all participants saw the necessity to reform international decision- making structures,” in particular the United Nations.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon called for a strengthening of international financial institutions, in the context of the current global crisis.
The two-day informal event was the first time since the G20’s founding in 1999 that it met at the foreign-minister level.
The G20 summit is scheduled for June, also in Los Cabos, on the Baja California peninsula in western Mexico.
On the first day of the meeting on Sunday, Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa said international institutions were often too clumsy and bureaucratic to be effective. The G20, made up of the 19 leading countries and the European Union, is “uniquely positioned to bring about the leadership that the world currently craves,” she said.
Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, Secretary of State Clinton on Tuesday also voiced hope that the US would soon resolve a row with Egypt over its plans to try American and other foreign NGO workers. Clinton declined to describe US discussions with Egypt’s military rulers but repeated that the United States was “deeply concerned” about the situation.
“We’ve had a senior team in Cairo in recent days trying to work through the issues so that they can be resolved as soon as possible,” she told reporters.
“I think it’s probably better just to continue the hard work of our engagement and hope that we’ll see a resolution soon,” Clinton said.
US Senator John McCain, on a visit to Cairo on Monday, said that Egypt’s military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi assured that he was working “diligently” to resolve the row with traditional ally Washington.
The trial of 43 democracy activists, including 19 Americans, working for local and foreign NGOs operating in Egypt, is due to begin on Sunday, according to Egyptian judicial sources.
Washington has already hinted that the crackdown could harm its long-standing ties with the Egyptian government.
Apart from Americans, the accused include Serbs, Norwegians, Germans, Egyptians, Palestinians and Jordanians.