UAE President Sheikh Mohamed arrives in India for G20 summit

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi 'looks forward to two days of 'productive discussions'

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UAE President Sheikh Mohamed has arrived in the Indian capital of New Delhi for the G20 summit, which begins on Saturday.

US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister Asaad bin Tariq and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres were among the world leaders to arrive at Palam airbase on Friday afternoon.

Mr Biden was scheduled to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shortly after arriving and would speak with other leaders on the “margins” of the event, the White House said.

Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied by a delegation of senior Emirati officials including Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad, adviser for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for National Security; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation; and Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, state news agency Wam reported.

China is to be represented by Premier Li Qiang in the absence of President Xi Jinping, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will represent his country in place of President Vladimir Putin.

A troupe of dancers welcomed Mr Sunak as he walked down the red carpet at the airport in New Delhi.

Mr Modi welcomed the dignitaries and said he was looking forward to “productive discussions” with the leaders.

“This is the first ever G20 summit being hosted by India. I look forward to productive discussions with world leaders over the next two days,” Mr Modi said on X, formerly Twitter.

He said he would discuss issues including gender equality, the empowerment of women and world peace.

US President Joe Biden meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

US President Joe Biden meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India's G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant said New Delhi's new declaration was in its final stages and would be presented to leaders of the bloc's members during the summit, which will end on Sunday.

“This declaration will be recommended to the leaders and the leaders will then accept it, and only after that we will be able to talk about the actual achievements of the declaration,” Mr Kant said.

“PM [Narendra] Modi said India's presidency should be inclusive, decisive, ambitious and action-oriented. We have lived up to his vision of being inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and very decisive during our presidency.”

He spoke about the key priorities for India's G20 presidency, which included sustainable development goals and climate action.

“Only 12 of the 169 SDGs are on track and we are way behind the schedule. We are midway at the 2030 Action Point. But we are way behind,” he said. “Therefore, accelerating SDGs, improving learning outcomes, healthy outcomes, nutrition – all these were very critical for India's presidency.”

Harsh Shringla, chief co-ordinator of India's G20 presidency, said the country had received about 100,000 visitors from more than 125 countries during its leadership of the bloc.

“For many of them, it was an opportunity to discover India, so we expect many economic benefits for our country and our citizens,” he said.

The G20 is an international forum comprising 19 countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the EU.

The group accounts for 80 per cent of the world’s economic activity, 75 per cent of international trade and two thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic co-operation.

The National reports from the G20 Summit in New Delhi

The National reports from the G20 Summit in New Delhi
Updated: September 08, 2023, 5:37 PM