After months of anticipation, world leaders from US President Joe Biden, to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reached New Delhi and kickstarted the colorful and mega G20 Summit. Folk dancers, and an array of ministers welcomed them, as security forces kept an hawk-eye vigil for the country’s first such event under it’s presidency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said G20 this year will chart a new path in the human-centric and inclusive development and expressed confidence that the guests “will enjoy the warmth of Indian hospitality.”
On the sidelines of the summit, and the beautiful oil lamps, Modi held bilateral meetings with three heads of states, including Biden, and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
PM Modi Holds 3 Bilateral Meets
With US President Joe Biden: As Biden landed in Delhi, his first order of business was meeting PM Modi and hold “productive” talks at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi. The two discussed various topics such as technology, artificial intelligence, nuclear energy, defence to further strengthen India-US ties.
The leaders meticulously discussed working together to bridge the gender digital divide, along with welcoming Indo-US major defence partnerships.
With Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina: PM Modi said he held fruitful discussions with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “Had productive deliberations with PM Sheikh Hasina. The progress in India-Bangladesh relations in the last 9 years has been very gladdening. Our talks covered areas like connectivity, commercial linkage and more,” PM Modi said.
With Mauritian PM Pravind Jugnauth: “Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth and I had a very good meeting. This is a special year for India-Mauritius relations as we mark 75 years of diplomatic ties between our nations. We discussed cooperation in sectors like infrastructure, FinTech, culture and more. Also reiterated India’s commitment to furthering the voice of the Global South,” PM Modi said following his meeting with the Mauritius Prime Minister.
PM Modi is scheduled to hold 15 bilateral meetings over the next three days when world leaders gather in the national capital for the Summit.
World leaders touch down in Delhi
World leaders started arriving for the summit on Friday and these included US President Joe Biden, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Chinese Premier Li Qiang.
Apart from these, UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, Netherlands PM Mark Rutte, and Brazil President Lula da Silva.
What did leaders say?
Soon after landing, UK’s Sunak gave an interview and said that his government is working very closely with India to tackle pro-Khalistani extremism in the UK.
He referred to the recent talks held between the UK and India on rising instances of Khalistani extremism and said no form of extremism is acceptable in the UK.
I’ve landed in Delhi ahead of the #G20 summit.I am meeting world leaders to address some of the challenges that impact every one of us.
Only together can we get the job done. pic.twitter.com/72vE60c7Fg
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) September 8, 2023
“No form of extremism or violence like that is acceptable in the UK. And that’s why we are working very closely with the Indian government to particularly tackle ‘PKE’ Pro-Khalistan Extremism,” Sunak was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Sunak also highlighted that India’s G20 Presidency has been a huge success during an interview with the news agency and said New Delhi is the right host at the right time to hold the summit.
Bharat Mandapam ready for leaders
Security was beefed up across the national capital, especially in New Delhi district with police, paramilitary forces and other agencies keeping a hawk-eye vigil on the Bharat Mandapam.
It is for the first time that India is hosting the summit of the 19 countries and the European Union, representing the world’s major developed and emerging economies.
India’s G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant said New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration will reflect the voice of the global south and developing countries.
Tentative Schedule for Day-1 of G20 Summit
As the G20 Summit officially commences on Saturday, the world leaders and other delegates will start arriving at the Bharat Mandapam around 9 PM.
- 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM- This will be first session of the summit – One Earth
- 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM: There will be a window for meeting
- 3:00 PM to 4:45 PM : Session 2 – One Family
- 4:45 PM to 5:30 PM: This will be a second window for meeting
- 7:00 PM to 9:15 PM: A dinner gala hosted by President Droupadi Murmu