PM Modi and PM Rishi Sunak discussed various issues involving the bilateral ties between both nations and expressed deep concern about terrorism. PM Modi congratulated UK PM Rishi Sunak on completing a year in office.
PM MODI’S CONVERSATION WITH PM RISHI SUNAK
On the occasion of UK PM Rishi Sunak’s successful completion of one-year tenure in office, PM Modi held a telephone conversation with his UK counterpart where both leaders discussed the situation in West Asia with a primary focus on de-escalating tensions and the need to protect the innocent civilians in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
The leaders also deliberated on the bilateral ties and the progress made towards the India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. The leaders representing two of the world’s top five economies reiterated their commitment to further bolstering bilateral comprehensive strategic partnerships that include areas of trade, technological advancements, investment, health, defense and many others. PM Modi and Rishi Sunak also exchanged greetings on the auspicious occasion of “Deepawali”.
PM Modi and Rishi Sunak emphasized on the disturbing situation in the Middle East due to the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. Both leaders condemned Hamas’s attack on Israel and stressed de-escalating tensions in a wider perspective. PM Rishi Sunak also focussed on the need to protect and safeguard innocent civilians in Gaza, providing continued humanitarian assistance and ensuring that proper aid was able to flow into the country.
They also reiterated that Hamas did not represent the Palestinian citizens. The leaders emphatically stressed on the need for regional peace, improving security and stability. They expressed deep concern regarding the loss of civilian lives. The leaders were of the view that there should be no place for terrorism and violence. They should be addressed and condemned at every level and steps should be adopted to encourage peace.
It is to be noted that the war between Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups and Israeli forces broke out on 7th October 2023. The Hamas group attacked southern Israel which led to Israeli retaliation and subsequent invasion of Gaza. This conflict caused the killing of more than 1500 Israelis and 8000 Palestinians including 3000 children with over 230 Israelis and foreign nationals taken as hostages.
INDIA’S PERFORMANCE AT WORLD CUP 2023
PM Narendra Modi and PM Rishi Sunak also had conversations about the ongoing Cricket World Cup that is being held in India. The UK PM congratulated PM Modi on the excellent performance exhibited by Team India in cricket and hoped to see a good performance from the English side in the Test Series to be held in January next year.
Notably, India is having an exceptional run in the Cricket World Cup. India is on an invincible streak by winning seven out of seven matches. There has been a marvellous display of mastery in all divisions in this tournament and each division is playing in sync with another thereby displaying the collective teamwork of the players. The team is looking forward to maintaining this dominant streak throughout the World Cup. England, on the other hand, was not up to the mark, winning only one game out of the six that they have played. In the India versus England match, the Men in Blue won by 100 runs.
FREE TRADE AGREEMENT (FTA)
The leaders had a deep conversation on the progress of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations. They agreed to secure a deal that would benefit both sides. They seemed to be satisfied with the progress that has been made in the mutually advantageous FTA. As per UK government officials, PM Rishi Sunak emphasized the UK’s aim to have a landmark trade deal that would be beneficial to the workers in both countries and would lead to the growth of bilateral trade in goods and services.
PM Rishi Sunak congratulated PM Modi on New Delhi’s presidency of the G20 which has shown “India’s vital global leadership and influence”.