LONDON: India’s diversity and its extraordinary successes mean it is the “right country” at the “right time” to hold the G20 presidency, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday, as he hailed Narendra Modi’s leadership over the last year, noting that India’s presidency of the bloc came when the world is facing innumerable challenges.
In an interview with PTI just days ahead of the G20 summit here on September 9-10, Mr Sunak, the first Indian-origin prime minister of Britain, said the relationship between the UK and India will define the future of the two countries, even more than it is defining the present.
“This country’s scale, diversity and extraordinary successes mean India is the right country at the right time to hold the G20 Presidency. I pay tribute to Prime Minister Modi’s leadership over the last year and it’s wonderful to see India showing such global leadership,” he said.
The prime minister’s responses to PTI’s questions were sent by email.
“We will also work closely with India through their Presidency of the G20 to address the biggest challenges the world is facing, from stabilising the global economy to dealing with climate change,” Mr Sunak said.
The British prime minister also referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and asserted that if Russian President Vladimir Putin is allowed to invade a sovereign neighbour with impunity, then it will have “terrible consequences” for the entire world.
“As two major world democracies, our people define and drive us. That is why the UK is focused on supporting Ukraine to defend itself and defeat this illegal and unprovoked Russian invasion,” he said.
“As a free and democratic country, Ukraine has the right to determine its own future. If Putin is allowed to invade a sovereign neighbour with impunity it will have terrible consequences for the entire world,” he said. “Nobody wants peace more than the Ukrainians, but it is Putin who has the power to end this war tomorrow by withdrawing his troops,” Mr Sunak added.