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India to host virtual summit of about 120 developing countries in January

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India will host a virtual summit of around 120 developing countries next week, its foreign minister said on Friday, as the country looks to bolster international cooperation during its presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) biggest economies.

The summit comes following a declaration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December that India's G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with developing countries and its G20 partners.

"India has always been in the forefront and consistently championed the cause of the developing world," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the conflict in Ukraine had impacted many developing countries.

Heads of governments, foreign ministers and finance ministers will participate in the "Voice of Global South Summit" where discussions will range from financial development to energy security in developing nations, Kwatra said.

More than 120 invites have been sent for the two-day summit scheduled for Jan. 12-13 and a confirmed list of participating countries will be shared later, Kwatra said.

"Often the concerns of the developing world do not receive due attention and space on the global stage," he said.

"India's ongoing presidency of the G20 presidency provides us with a special and strong opportunity to channelise these inputs into the deliberation and discourse of the G20."

At the end of the summit, a summary detailing priorities and perspectives of the developing countries will be shared, Kwatra added.

(Reporting by Shivam Patel, Writing by Devjyot GhoshalEditing by Gareth Jones)