PM Modi holds bilateral talks with world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Summit

Modi has been holding bilateral talks with a host of leaders who have arrived in Delhi, for the G20 Summit.


Published Sep 09, 2023 | 11:09 PMUpdatedSep 09, 2023 | 11:09 PM

PM Modi holds bilateral talks with UK PM Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled as many as 15 bilateral meetings with world leaders between Friday, 8 September, and Sunday, 10 September, as India hosted the G20 summit in the capital New Delhi over the weekend.

Modi and his British counterpart Rishi Sunak, on Saturday, 9 September, agreed to continue to work at pace towards a “landmark” free trade agreement (FTA) during their bilateral meeting.

A readout from 10 Downing Street of the meeting said that cooperation in the field of defence technology, innovation and some consular issues were among the topics on the agenda of the meeting.

Related: PM Modi announces adoption of New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration

A landmark trade deal

Prime Minister Modi is also said to have highlighted the “warm reception” that Sunak has received during his first visit to India as British Prime Minister.

“The leaders had a productive conversation about negotiations on a UK-India Free Trade Agreement,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“The Prime Minister [Sunak] reiterated the UK’s ambition to deliver a landmark trade deal which benefits businesses and workers in both countries and grows our trade in both goods and services. They agreed that ministers and negotiating teams would continue to work at pace towards an FTA,” the spokesperson said.

Sunak, who arrived here on Friday, 8 September, held talks with Modi after the first session of the G20 Summit. Earlier, Sunak greeted Modi with a namaste as the latter received him at the venue.

In a post on X after the meeting, Modi said, “Great to have met PM @RishiSunak on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Delhi. We discussed ways to deepen trade linkages and boost investment.”

Close and growing ties between the UK and India

India and the UK will keep working for a prosperous and sustainable planet, Modi said.

Sunak is said to have congratulated Prime Minister Modi on India’s “consummate presidency” of the G20 this year, which he said had demonstrated the country’s “vital global leadership and influence”.

“The leaders reflected on the close and growing ties between the UK and India, exemplified in the living bridge’ between our people. They agreed it was important to build on the past and focus on the future, cementing a modern partnership in cutting-edge defence technology, trade and innovation. They also discussed a number of consular issues,” the spokesperson said.

In an indication that another visit by the British Indian leader may not be far off, Downing Street said both leaders “welcomed the opportunity to meet again in person”.

“The Prime Minister congratulated Prime Minister Modi again on delivering a successful G20 Summit,” the spokesperson added.

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‘To deepen bond between the US and India’

Earlier, on Friday, Modi held bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden, with their discussions covering a wide range of issues focused on deepening the bond between the two countries.

The meeting was held soon after Biden arrived in New Delhi to participate in the G20 Summit to be chaired by Prime Minister Modi.

“Their discussions include a wide range of issues and will further deepen the bond between India and the USA,” the prime minister’s office said.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US NSA Jake Sullivan were also present in the meeting from the US side while the Indian delegation included External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Doval.

“It is my firm belief that the New Delhi G20 Summit will chart a new path in human-centric and inclusive development,” the prime minister posted on X, adding, “I look forward to productive discussions with world leaders over the next two days.”

“I will also be holding bilateral meetings with several leaders and Heads of Delegation to further deepen the bonds of friendship and cooperation,” Modi said.

75 years of diplomatic relations

On Saturday he also held bilateral talks with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, where he appreciated Italy joining the Global Biofuel Alliance and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor partnership.

Prime Minister Modi also appreciated Italy’s support for India’s G20 Presidency, according to an official statement.

The two leaders noted with satisfaction the completion of 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

They also took stock of the progress in diverse areas of the India-Italy Strategic Partnership and agreed to bolster cooperation in areas such as defence and new and emerging technologies.

They noted the need for G7 and G20 to work in consonance for the greater global good, the statement read.

Prime Minister Meloni congratulated Modi for a successful G20 Summit.

In a post on X, Modi said, “I had an excellent meeting with PM @GiorgiaMeloni. Our talks covered sectors such as trade, commerce, defence, emerging technologies and more. India and Italy will keep working together for global prosperity.”

This is the second visit of Prime Minister Meloni to India following her State visit in March this year, during which bilateral relations were raised to the level of a Strategic Partnership.

Modi has been holding bilateral talks with a host of leaders who have arrived in Delhi, for the G20 Summit.

On Sunday, 10 September, he will have a working lunch meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, sources said.

The prime minister earlier said that these meetings would give an opportunity to review India’s bilateral ties with these nations and further strengthen developmental cooperation.

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