Rishi Sunak hails PM Modi’s leadership, says India is ‘right country’ at ‘right time’ to hold G20 presidency

G20 Summit
Image Source : PTI/FILE UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India is all set to hold the G20 Summit, under its presidency, scheduled for September 9-10. Ahead of the multi-nation annual summit, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said India’s diversity and its extraordinary successes make it the “right country” at the “right time” to hold the G20 presidency. Sunak’s remarks came on Wednesday as he hailed his Indian counterpart for his leadership, noting that India’s presidency of the bloc came when the world is facing innumerable challenges.

Sunak on UK-India ties

In an exclusive interview to the news agency PTI, the British Prime Minister said the relationship between the UK and India will define the future of the two nations much more than it is defining the present. “This country’s scale, diversity and its extraordinary successes mean India is the right country at the right time to hold the G20 Presidency. I pay tribute to Prime Minister Modi’s leadership over the last year and it’s wonderful to see India showing such global leadership,” he stated in an email to PTI. “We will also work closely with India through their Presidency of the G20 to address the biggest challenges the world is facing, from stabilising the global economy to dealing with climate change,” Sunak added. 

‘2023 is a huge year for India’

Sunak, the first Indian-origin prime minister of Britain, further said that 2023 is a huge year for India, from all the different G20 meetings taking place across the country to the Cricket World Cup in October. “India is definitely home to the biggest global geopolitical events of the year,” he noted. The 43-year-old leader of the Conservative Party said that India has assumed the G20 Presidency at a time when the world is dealing with numerous challenges. “In the last twelve months we have seen a sharp rise in inflation and economic instability, we’ve witnessed the outbreak of conflict in Sudan, military coups in Niger and Gabon, and the ongoing repression of human rights in Afghanistan and elsewhere,” he added. 

Sunak intends to discuss global concerns with PM Modi

Sunak also expressed his eagerness for the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Modi and discuss how cooperation between India and the UK aids in addressing numerous global concerns. “When I meet Prime Minister Modi again this week it will be an opportunity to speak about some of the global challenges we face and the huge role that the UK and India have to play in addressing them,” he said. In reference to a possible outcome of the G20 summit, Sunak said it’s too early to say what the summit’s outcome will be but the UK is certainly going to assist India in its attempts to host a successful summit.

Sunak’s take on ‘2030 Roadmap’

Sunak extensively delved into various aspects of India-UK ties including cultural and people-to-people links. Stating about the “unique” UK-India relationship, he said “Living Bridge” between the countries which includes a 1.6 million-strong Indian diaspora in the UK, and which connects “our people across culture, education, food, sport and more.” “Recognising the close links and aligned interests of our countries, two years ago we agreed to the ‘2030 Roadmap’ which was a historic commitment to bring our countries, economies and people closer together, he added.” 

India-UK trade engagement

Sunak also mentioned the India-UK trade engagement and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. He said that India is already on track to be the third-largest economy in the world within ten years. “I absolutely see more for the UK and India to do together in the Indo-Pacific, building on the impressive cooperation that has already taken place across trade, defence and security under the 2030 Roadmap,” the British Prime Minister remarked. 

(With inputs from PTI) 

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