Modi much sought after at G20 meet

Modi much sought after at G20 meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was highly sought after at the G20 summit with world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, spending time chatting and laughing with him.

At the G20 retreat ahead of the summit that kicked off later in the afternoon, Modi was flocked by Obama, Russia President Vladimir Putin and Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Australian prime minister tweeted a photo of Modi and him sharing a lighter moment with Obama during the retreat. “The BBQ lunch with @narendramodi and @BarackObama was an opportunity for #G20 leaders to talk in a relaxed atmosphere,” Abbott posted.

Earlier, Abbott welcomed Modi with a warm hug to the G20. “The Age”, which has been posting comments and photos of the event live, said of the Abbott-Modi hug: “The stand out shake so far has been India’s Prime Minister Modi, who gave Abbott a hug. An ‘awww’ could be heard across the media centre.”

“There were no hugs from Abbott best friends David Cameron and Stephen Harper. We repeat, no hugs,” it said. “The Guardian”, in an article on Modi titled—Narendra Modi: From international pariah to the G20’s political rock star—wrote that the prime minister is one of the most popular figures at this G20. “A leader others want to see, and be seen with”. 

Soon after landing in Brisbane on Friday, Modi lost no time in holding three high-powered bilaterals.

Modi first talked with a European Union (EU) delegation headed by Herman Van Rompuy who conveyed that the bloc was keen to “re-engage” with India in all areas, especially trade. Modi told him that the “EU should take advantage of the new economic environment in India”.

Modi’s proposal of having an International Yoga Day, which he had proposed at the UN, got further impetus with Rompuy telling him that the 28-member bloc supported his initiative. His meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron was another highlight of his engagements on Friday.

Cameron, who met the Indian prime minister for the first time, told him that relations with India were at the “top of the priorities of UK’s foreign policy”.  Modi ended the day with a dinner hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with whom he shares a great rapport.

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