18th G20 Summit: Highlights from Day 2
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty visit to Akshardham Temple
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, accompanied by his wife Akshata Murty and their team, commenced Sunday morning by paying a visit to the Akshardham Temple in Delhi. Their spiritual journey at the temple lasted approximately 40 minutes, during which Sunak demonstrated his reverence by personally visiting each statue and even performing an aarti ceremony.
Jyotindra Dave, an official from the Akshardham Temple, shared insights into Sunak’s visit, stating, “Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came with his wife Akshata and their entire team. He had a profound experience during their stay, dedicating over 40 minutes to the temple. Mr. Sunak displayed his devotion by individually acknowledging each statue and actively participating in the aarti ritual. Additionally, they engaged in conversations with the temple’s revered saints, who expressed their contentment with the visit.”
This spiritual interlude underscores the significance of cultural exchanges and the bridging of diverse traditions, showcasing the Prime Minister’s respect for India’s rich spiritual heritage. Such moments of cultural exchange and spiritual reflection contribute to fostering international understanding and appreciation, transcending geographical boundaries. The UK Prime Minister’s visit to the Akshardham Temple stands as a testament to the enduring bonds between nations and the importance of embracing different cultures and beliefs.
Homage to Mahatma Gandhi
Before the concluding session, G20 leaders paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. Prime Minister Modi welcomed them and explained the significance of Bapu Kuti, Gandhi’s last residence.
India-Turkey Trade and Infrastructure Ties
On the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Modi held discussions with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on strengthening trade and infrastructure relations. Erdogan highlighted India’s significance as Turkey’s leading trade partner in South Asia.
Strengthening Indo-French Relations
Prime Minister Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to enhance defense ties and expand collaboration to address regional and global challenges. They discussed partnership in advanced defense technologies and platforms.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commended the G20 Summit’s success and noted that the consolidated position of Global South countries helped prevent the overshadowing of the agenda by the Ukraine conflict.
US President Biden’s Assessment
US President Joe Biden praised the G20 Summit, highlighting its ability to address pressing global issues. He emphasized the importance of the G20 in finding solutions to global challenges.
US President leaves Delhi
US President Joe Biden left from Delhi to Vietnam at 10:45 am. He did not attend the final session of the G20 summit “One Future,” as informed earlier.
Modi’s Call for Global Reforms
During the “One Future” session, Prime Minister Modi advocated for reforms in global bodies, including the United Nations, emphasizing the need for a new global structure that reflects the world’s evolving realities.
G20 Conclusion and India’s Role
Prime Minister Modi officially declared the closure of the G20 Leaders’ Summit 2023, passing the presidency gavel to the President of Brazil. He proposed a virtual session in November to assess progress on suggestions made during the summit.
Trudeau’s Response and India-Canada Ties
Trudeau, in response, emphasized Canada’s commitment to defending peaceful protests while preventing violence and hatred. He acknowledged that the actions of a few do not represent the entire community or Canada. Trudeau also stressed the significance of India as an economic partner and ally in various sectors.
Modi’s Concerns and Diplomatic Message
During his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Modi expressed strong concerns about anti-India activities by extremist elements in Canada. He highlighted the importance of a relationship based on mutual respect and trust.
Bilateral Meetings and Diplomacy
In the evening, Prime Minister Modi engaged in a series of bilateral meetings with global leaders, including Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz, and Justin Trudeau. He also met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and African Union President Azali Assoumani.
Passing of Gavel and Future Plans
The second day of the G20 Summit featured the ceremonial transfer of the rotational G20 presidency, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi passing the gavel to Lula da Silva, the President of Brazil. Brazil is set to assume the G20 presidency from 1st December 2023. Modi proposed a virtual conclave in November to review initiatives undertaken during India’s presidency.