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PM Modi meets UK’s Rishi Sunak, other G20 heads in Bali

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his United Kingdom counterpart Rishi Sunak in Bali on Tuesday (Image courtesy: PMO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met his United Kingdom counterpart Rishi Sunak, in a busy day where he laid out India’s inclusive approach to the G20 after New Delhi’s assumes the grouping’s presidency next month.

“Prime Ministers @narendramodi and @RishiSunak in conversation during the first day of the @g20org Summit in Bali,” PM Modi’s Office said in a tweet.

This is the first face-to-face meeting that took place between both leaders. However, the two premiers had spoken on the phone in October, where they agreed to conclude “a balanced and comprehensive” Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between both countries.

PM Modi arrived in Bali on Monday and met President of the Republic of Senegal Macky Sall, Netherland’s PM Mark Rutte, US President Joe Biden, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Deliberations with an important developmental partner in Africa. PM @narendramodi interacted with President @Macky_Sall, the President of Senegal and Chairman of the African Union. @PR_Senegal,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.

PMO also said, “Multilateral summits present wonderful opportunities for leaders to exchange views on diverse issues. Prime Ministers @narendramodi and Mark Rutte interact during the @g20org Summit in Bali.”

Earlier today, during his address to the G20 working session on Food and Energy Security, PM Modi flagged off the urgency to resolve the Ukraine cirisis. He amplified India’s long-standing position in favour of dialogue and diplomacy in Ukraine.

“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine,” PM said.

PM Modi also implicitly rejected western criticism about Indian purchases of Russian energy following the Ukraine conflict.

“India’s energy-security is also important for global growth, as it is the world’s fastest growing economy. We must not promote any restrictions on the supply of energy and stability in the energy market should be ensured, “the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also slammed the United Nations and multilateral bodies for letting down the Global South during the Covid pandemic and the ongoing energy crisis following the Ukraine conflict.

“We should also not hesitate to acknowledge that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful on these issues,” PM Modi said, citing the developing countries’ urgent need for affordable finance to provision food, fertilizer and energy.

Calling for reforms in multilateral institutions including the UN, PM Modi asserted that “we have all failed to make suitable reforms in them (multilateral institutions). “Therefore, today the world has greater expectations from the G-20, the relevance of our group has become more significant, “ he observed. India, along with Japan, Germany, Japan and Brazil have been calling for UN reforms including their inclusion in an expanded Security Council of the world body.

He was referring to India’s Presidency of the G-20 which will begin from December this year.

Also Read: PM Modi calls for ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine at G20 summit