London, September 8
Rishi Sunak said on Friday that his visit to New Delhi for the G20 Leaders’ Summit is “obviously special” as he joked about being referred to as the “son-in-law of India” as the first British Prime Minister of Indian heritage and married to an Indian in Akshata Murty.
Speaking to reporters in a huddle on his flight to New Delhi, the 43-year-old British Indian leader said he was excited to be back in India, “a country that is very near and dear to me”. He is joined on the visit by his wife, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, and is scheduled for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit.
“I’m heading to the G20 Summit with a clear focus. Stabilising the global economy. Building international relationships. Supporting the most vulnerable,” tweeted Sunak as he embarked on the three-day tour.
“It’s obviously special. I saw somewhere that I was referred to as India’s son-in-law, which I hope was meant affectionately,” he told reporters traveling with him.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been flagged as a key topic on the agenda for the UK during the summit discussions, with Downing Street saying India’s role and influence is “vital”.
“Once again, Vladimir Putin is failing to show his face at the G20. He is the architect of his own diplomatic exile, isolating himself in his presidential palace and blocking out criticism and reality. The rest of the G20, meanwhile, are demonstrating that we will turn up and work together to pick up the pieces of Putin’s destruction,” Sunak told reporters.
His Downing Street spokesperson said the UK will use “every opportunity” to show its support for Ukraine and further foster global support as well.