NEW DELHI: The pictures said it all! The smiles, the namaste, the embrace, the friendly arm on the back – the bonhomie was there for all to see this weekend whenever Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rishi Sunak, his counterpart from the UK.
It was as if the pictures exemplified what the leaders at the G20 Summit said in the preamble to their Declaration: “We are One Earth, One Family, and we share One Future”.
There is a lot being expected not only in the two nations they lead, but by leaders across the world.
Prime Minister Sunak, meanwhile, took time out from a hectic schedule during the G20 Summit and accompanied by wife Akshata Murty, visited the Akshardham Temple in New Delhi on Sunday, September 10. The couple offered prayers and performed aarti at the temple. PM Sunak was also among the leaders of G20 member nations paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
On September 9, Prime Minister Modi held a bilateral meeting with the UK PM on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
During the meeting, PM Modi conveyed his appreciation for the United Kingdom’s support for the host holding G20 presidency. High-level delegations and Cabinet members from the two countries – along with other membercountries – have participated in various meetings and events leading up to the New Delhi Summit.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the progress in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation as per the India-United Kingdom Comprehensive Strategic Partnership as well as the Roadmap 2030, particularly in economy, defence and security, technology, green technology, climate change, health, and mobility sectors. Both leaders also exchanged views on international and regional issues of importance and mutual interest.
FTA progress reviewed
The two PMs reviewed the progress of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations and expressed hope that the remaining issues could be addressed at the earliest. The leaders are confident that a balanced, mutually beneficial and forward-looking agreement will be concluded soon. During their conversation, PM Modi invited his counterpart for a bilateral visit at an early, mutually convenient date for a more detailed discussion. Sunak accepted the invitation and congratulated India for a successful G20 Summit.
Before leaving for New Delhi to take part in the summit, Prime Minister Sunak had assured India that no form of extremism was acceptable in his country. He shared that the United Kingdom is working closely with the Indian Government to tackle the threat from pro-Khalistan extremism.