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Jaishankar meets Rishi Sunak on Diwali, gifts him Kohli-signed bat, Ganesha statue

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty at 10 Downing Street on Sunday to convey Diwali wishes from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Accompanied by his wife Kyoko Jaishankar, the minister presented Sunak with a statue of Lord Ganesha and a cricket bat autographed by cricketer Virat Kohli.

Jaishankar took to social media to share the photos of the meeting. "Delighted to call on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Diwali Day. Conveyed the best wishes of PM Narendra Modi. India and UK are actively engaged in reframing the relationship for contemporary times. Thank Mr. and Mrs. Sunak for their warm reception and gracious hospitality," he wrote in the caption of his post on X.

Jaishankar is currently in the United Kingdom on an official visit to meet his UK counterpart, James Cleverly. His visit, which began on Saturday, will conclude on November 15. The itinerary of his visit also includes meetings with several other dignitaries.

In a recent release, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had highlighted the growing bilateral partnership between India and the UK, noting the launch of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2021.

"India and the UK share a warm and thriving relationship. The India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was launched in 2021 along with the India-UK Roadmap 2030," the MEA said in its release.

"The Roadmap is a commitment to a partnership that delivers for both countries. EAM's visit will give a new impetus to the friendly ties between the two countries," it added.

On November 3, Prime Ministers Modi and Sunak had a telephonic conversation discussing the progress of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Sunak also took the opportunity to congratulate Modi on the impressive performance of the Indian cricket team in the ongoing Cricket World Cup.

The conversation between the two leaders also touched upon the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Both leaders condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel and emphasized that the terror group did not represent the Palestinian people. They also discussed the need to de-escalate tensions in the region.


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