• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Modi meets Sunak during G7 summit

Modi reaffirmed his commitment to further strengthen the India-UK strategic partnership

Rishi Sunak attends a meeting with Narendra Modi on day two of the 50th G7 summit on June 14, 2024 in Fasano, Italy. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday (14) met his British counterpart Rishi Sunak and reaffirmed his commitment to further strengthen the India-UK strategic partnership in the third term of the NDA government and reviewed the progress made in the ongoing FTA negotiations.

The two leaders greeted each other with a warm hug as they met on the sidelines of the 50th G7 Summit at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Apulia, Italy.

While Sunak congratulated Modi on his historic third consecutive term, the Indian leader extended his best wishes to the people of the UK as they prepare for general elections next month, a statement from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said.

The two leaders reaffirmed the shared commitment of both countries to further strengthen bilateral relations, the statement added.

“It was a delight to meet PM @RishiSunak in Italy. I reiterated my commitment to further strengthen the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the third term of the NDA Government,” Modi posted on X soon after their meeting.

“There is great scope to deepen ties in sectors like semiconductors, technology and trade. We also talked about further cementing ties in the defence sector.”

The MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal described the meeting between the two leaders as “fruitful.”

“The leaders discussed the implementation of the Roadmap 2030 and expressed happiness on progress in all areas of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership including regular high-level political consultations, defence and security, trade and economic collaboration, critical and high technology sectors and people-to-people ties,” the statement said.

“They also expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between the two countries. Both leaders also discussed regional and multilateral matters of mutual interest.”

Sunak and Modi last met in person at the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, which also marked Sunak’s first official visit to India as Britain’s first prime minister of Indian heritage.

The two leaders then agreed to accelerate the FTA talks with the hope of signing off before India’s general election. However, the trade talks are now expected to resume only after a new UK government is elected on July 4.

The India-UK FTA negotiations, which opened in January 2022, are aimed at significantly enhancing bilateral trade – currently worth around £38.1 billion a year as per official statistics from earlier this year.

Modi is attending the summit on the invitation of Italian president Georgia Meloni and will address an Outreach session on Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa and the Mediterranean alongside leaders of other invited countries and Pope Francis.


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