G20 Summit: World leaders land in Delhi
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G20 Summit: World leaders land in Delhi

September 8, 2023

New Delhi: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and US President Joe Biden will be among the first world leaders to land in New Delhi today to attend the two-day mega Group of 20 or G20 Summit 2023 beginning on Sept. 9.

Flights carrying VVIPs have started landing in Delhi from 7 pm yesterday. Officials aware of the matter said that around 55 VVIP flights are expected to land at Delhi’s IGI airport, which will depart late at night on Sunday.

The Summit will be held at the International Exhibition- cum-Convention Centre (IECC) complex, also known as Bharat Mandapam, in New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan. PM Modi inaugurated this complex on July 26 this year. It boasts of state-of-the-art facilities, including convention centre, exhibition halls and an amphitheatre.

US President

Joe Biden on Thursday (US local time) left for India to participate in the G20 Summit. Biden will follow the COVID-19 guidelines during his visit. First Lady Jill Biden, 72, tested positive for the virus on Monday. President Biden, 80, was tested for the virus on Monday and Tuesday following his wife’s positive test, but his results were negative.

Travelling with the US President onboard Air Force One include US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and director of Oval Office Operations Annie Tomasini.

Biden is set to arrive around 6.55pm on Friday. Minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh will be at the airport to welcome him. According to the White House, Biden would arrive in New Delhi on Friday evening, with a refuelling stop at Ramstein, Germany.

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British PM

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak landed at about 1.40 pm in New Delhi. He was received by Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs Ashwini Kumar Choubey.  Sunak and Modi are expected to hold bilateral talks on the margins of the G20 event and will discuss progress in the trade deal the two countries are trying to negotiate.

Japan PM

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s aircraft will touch down at Palam Air Force Station at 2.15pm. He, too, will be received by Choubey. This will be Kishida’s second visit to India, after his first visit in March.

Canada PM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be received by Minister of State Rajeev                               Chandrasekhar after his landing at 7 pm. Trudeau is visiting New Delhi at a time when ties between India and Canada saw some grey clouds over the activities of Khalistani groups in his country.

China PM

Chinese Premier Li Qiang will land around at 7.45 pm and will be received by V.K. Singh. China’s Xi Jinping will miss the G20 meeting at a time of heightened trade and geopolitical tensions with the United States and India, with which it shares a long and disputed border.

Beijing did not give a reason but said Li Qiang would attend instead.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, however, said Xi skipping the summit was ‘not unusual’ and would not affect negotiations to produce a consensus communique at the meeting.

Bangladesh PM

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was received by Minister of State Darshana Jardosh at 12:30 pm.

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Other leaders arriving

UAE President HH Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be received by MoS (Home) Nityanand Rai as he arrives in the national capital at 8 pm.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will arrive at 6.15 pm and he will be received by Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

The Safdarjung Airport has been closed from today till Sunday and only the Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters, which have been deployed and military helicopters on VVIP duties, will be allowed to take off  and land. Three ceremonial lounges have been prepared to receive the hea ds of State and other VVIPs.

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