India cynosure of all eyes as top world leaders reach Delhi for G20 today
Among the high-profile guests to take part at the event were US president Joe Biden and British prime minister Rishi Sunak.
A NUMBER of top leaders from across the world were set to reach India on Friday (8) for the two-say G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi starting Saturday (9).
Among them were US president Joe Biden and British prime minister Rishi Sunak. French president Emmanuel Macron, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida were also among the attendees.
The summit, which is being hosted at the sprawling Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre in Pragati Maidan in the national capital, is likely to focus on tackling global issues, including energy transition and fighting climate change and mitigating economic and social impacts of the devastating war in Ukraine, among others.
Biden left for India on Thursday (7) and will follow the Covid-19 guidelines of America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during his visit to the south Asian nation, his first after taking the top office in 2021. First lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday (4) while the president tested negative.
He was expected to reach India at 6.55 pm local time on Friday following a refuelling stop in Germany, White House said.
The US president was accompanied in his flight by his national security adviser Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and director of Oval Office operations Annie Tomasini.
Sullivan told reporters that the White House expects to see meaningful progress in General Electric jet engines and civil nuclear technology when Biden meets Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks, the Hindustan Times reported.
Sunak, on the other hand, was scheduled to reach New Delhi at 1.40 pm local time. According to a report by Financial Times, the British premier will urge his Indian counterpart to “call out” Russia over its military invasion in Ukraine in February 2022 and use its clout to help terminate the conflict.
It will also be the first official trip to India by the Asian-origin prime minister since he took office in October last year.
Sunak and Modi are also expected to hold bilateral talks on the margins of the G20 event and will take up the trade deal the two democracies are trying to negotiate, the FT report added.
Japanese premier Fumio Kishida will reach the Indian capital around 2.15 pm and like Sunak, he will also be received at the airport by India’s minister of state for consumer affairs Ashwini Kumar Choubey.
It will be Kishida’s second visit to India after March.
Prime minister Trudeau will be received by India’s minister of state for information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar after his plane touches down at the New Delhi airport at 7 pm. The Canadian premier’s visit is taking place at a time when the relations between New Delhi and Ottawa are witnessing some grey clouds of activism of pro-Khalistan groups in Canada.
Recently, Canada also surprisingly paused talks over its proposed trade treaty with India.
Chinese premier Li Qiang, who will represent his country in the absence of president Xi Jinping, will reach India at 7.45 pm. He will be received by minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh. While a lot is being speculated over the absence of Xi at the mega event, Indian external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently remarked that the former’s absence was “not unusual” and would not hurt negotiations to produce a consensus communique at the event.
Among other leaders who were reaching India for the summit were Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese, UAE president HH Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Saudi crown prince and prime minister Mohammed bin Salman, among others.
Among those who had already reached were Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina, European Council president Charles Michel, Argentinian president Alberto Fernández, Italian prime minister Georgia Meloni and others.