Sunak to meet Modi at G7 Summit in Italy

Sunak and Modi last met in person at the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September

Sunak to meet Modi at G7 Summit in Italy

Narendra Modi with Rishi Sunak. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

By:
Pramod Thomas

PRIME MINISTER Rishi Sunak spoke to India’s Narendra Modi on Wednesday (5) to congratulate him on his election victory, which he said will see the bilateral relationship “thrive”.

Both leaders agreed to stay in touch in the coming days before they meet at the G7 Summit in Italy, where Modi has been invited by Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni for the Outreach Sessions.

Sunak is currently campaigning for the general election, to be held on July 4, and is hoping his Tory-led government is re-elected for a record fourth term.

“Today I spoke to Narendra Modi to congratulate him on his election victory,” said Sunak in a social media post.
“The UK and India share the closest of friendships, and together that friendship will continue to thrive,” he said, adding in Hindi – “Britain aur Bharat ke beech kareebi mitrata hai, aur saath milkar yeh mitrata aage badhti rahegi (Britain and India share a close friendship, which will be enhanced moving forward in partnership)”.

The readout of the call from 10 Downing Street noted that the two leaders will be seeing each other at the G7 Summit, to be held in Apulia, southern Italy.

“The prime minister began by congratulating Modi on his election victory and wished him every success for his third term. The leaders reflected on the strength of the UK-India relationship and agreed that this will continue to grow in the future,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

“Both agreed to stay in touch and looked forward to seeing each other at the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Italy next week.”

There was no mention of the India-UK free trade agreement (FTA), which is stalled in the fourteenth round of negotiations amid the general election cycles of both countries.

Sunak and Modi last met in person at the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, when they had agreed to accelerate the FTA talks with the hope of signing off before the Indian general election.

However, the trade talks are now expected to resume only after a new UK government is elected on July 5, with the opposition Labour saying it would “get it over the line” if elected to govern.

(PTI)