Downing Street has described the upcoming visit as a “historic” occasion, emphasizing its significance as a vivid testament to the enduring connection between the two nations.
Rishi Sunak, accompanied by his wife Akshata Murty, a native of India and the daughter of one of the country’s wealthiest individuals, is embarking on this remarkable journey.
Their visit is in conjunction with the G20 summit, a gathering of leaders representing the world’s 19 largest economies plus the European Union. The G20 may seem like a diplomatic amalgamation with disparate characteristics among its members, but its fundamental purpose is to unite the economic powerhouses that drive the global economy.
The G20 is a 21st-century creation, conceived in 1999 and gaining prominence after the 2008 financial crisis. As a result, the discussions within the G20 often encompass a wide range of topics. Additionally, it provides leaders with the opportunity for one-on-one interactions, commonly referred to as “bilateral meetings.”
Mr. Sunak expressed his enthusiasm for returning to India on his way to the summit, highlighting the country’s deep personal significance to him. He humorously mentioned being called “India’s son-in-law” in the media and hoped it was meant affectionately.
While the guest list includes two of the world’s most influential leaders, notable absences are also apparent. For the second consecutive year, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend, drawing criticism from the UK Prime Minister. The absence of President Putin is seen as a self-imposed diplomatic isolation, as he remains secluded in his presidential residence and resistant to criticism and external realities.
President Xi of China is also not participating in the summit, further complicating matters. Additionally, some G20 members exhibit varying degrees of commitment to addressing issues related to Ukraine. Notably, India, the host nation, continues to import substantial amounts of oil from Russia.
When questioned about his plans to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang during the summit, the UK Prime Minister declined to provide a definitive answer. He stated that he anticipates encountering a variety of individuals during the summit’s duration but refrained from confirming any specific face-to-face meetings.