US President Biden, Britain PM Sunak arrive in Delhi for G20 summit
September 8, 2023 08:00 PM
US President Joe Biden arrived Friday for the G20 summit in India, where he hopes to seize on the no-shows by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin to boost Washington's influence.
Biden is expected to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly after arrival, and would speak with other leaders on the "margins," the White House said.
Britain PM Sunak also arrives
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived Friday for the G20 summit in India, television broadcasts showed.
Sunak, who is of Indian heritage and is on his first visit to the country since becoming prime minister, arrived with his wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of one of India's richest men.
India last year surpassed its former coloniser as the world's fifth-largest economy.
On Friday, a troupe of dancing women welcomed Sunak as he walked down the red carpet at the airport in New Delhi.
The British leader said his key points of focus will be backing Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion and the global economy.
Putin is not attending or even planning to make a video address at the G20 in India, with relations between Moscow and many members of the bloc fraught over the war in Ukraine.
"Putin again has failed to show up for the G20, but we will show up with support for Ukraine," Sunak wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, while en route to India.
Sunak, who is an observant Hindu, later spoke to British broadcasters about the importance of coming to New Delhi and his historical family roots in the subcontinent.
"My story is not that dissimilar from millions of British people, that living bridge that exists between India and the UK is very powerful," he said.
Sunak's parents were born into the Indian diaspora in east Africa, and trace their heritage back to pre-independence Punjab in northern British India.
He became premier in October 2022, the same day Hindus marked Diwali, the festival of lights.
The new premier's first formal event in Downing Street was a Diwali reception.
"It speaks to the incredible tolerance and diversity of our country, a country that welcomed millions of people like my family, and here I am now representing the UK back in India," he added.