Rishi visits Hindu temple on final day of G20 summit in India: PM and his wife Akshata Murty join in with Sanskrit singing and make prayer offerings as they tour the 100-acre Akshardham temple in New Delhi

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  • The couple made the visit to the holy site ahead of the final G20 session today

The Prime Minister and his wife Akshata Murty joined in with Sanskrit singing and made prayer offerings at a Hindu temple on their final day in India for the G20 summit.

The couple, who are both practicing Hindus, spent some of the morning at the 100-acre Akshardham temple in New Delhi before the final session of the summit of world leaders.

Afterwards, the couple headed to join other G20 leaders at the Raj Ghat memorial in the city, with one of the memorials dedicated to the Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Sunak, who has Indian heritage, described India as ‘a country that’s near and dear to me’. He has often spoken about being a proud Hindu and expressed his desire to visit a mandir during his trip to to the country, his first as Prime Minister.

He made the visit to the holy site ahead of the final G20 session, where the focus will be on transformative technologies, before he flies back to the UK later today.

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty pose for pictures as they visit the Akshardham Hindu Temple in New Dehli

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty pose for pictures as they visit the Akshardham Hindu Temple in New Dehli

The couple, who are both practicing Hindus, offered prayers during their visit to the temple

The couple, who are both practicing Hindus, offered prayers during their visit to the temple

The British Prime Minister held his hands together in a show of respect as he stood for pictures outside the temple

The British Prime Minister held his hands together in a show of respect as he stood for pictures outside the temple

A Hindu priest applied 'Tilak' on Mr Sunak's forehead as he visited the temple

A Hindu priest applied ‘Tilak’ on Mr Sunak’s forehead as he visited the temple

Mrs Murty took shelter under a red umbrella during a damp day in New Dehli

Mrs Murty took shelter under a red umbrella during a damp day in New Dehli

Women greet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to the Akshardham Hindu Temple

Women greet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to the Akshardham Hindu Temple

The trip has been a homecoming of sorts for Ms Murty, who was born in the southern state of Karnataka

The trip has been a homecoming of sorts for Ms Murty, who was born in the southern state of Karnataka

The trip has been a homecoming of sorts for Ms Murty, who was born in the southern state of Karnataka.

After meeting at Stanford University in the US, the couple married in a lavish ceremony in Bengaluru, India, in 2009, and went on to live there for the next four years. 

The couple have received an overwhelmingly warm welcome to the country after arriving on Friday, with Sunak joking to reporters at the start of the trip that he is ‘India’s son-in-law’.

Engagements including a visit to the British Council which saw Ms Murty play football with youngsters.

Their visit to the temple on Sunday came ahead of a trip with other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron, to Raj Ghat to pay homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial.

Ahead of the final session of the G20, Mr Sunak announced a record UK contribution to an international climate change fund in answer to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for more financing to support developing nations.

Downing Street announced that Britain will provide two billion US dollars (£1.6 billion) to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for 2024-27.

The couple have received an overwhelmingly warm welcome to the country after arriving on Friday

The couple have received an overwhelmingly warm welcome to the country after arriving on Friday

The Prime Minister and his wife Akshata Murty joined in with Sanskrit singing and made prayer offerings at the Hindu temple

The Prime Minister and his wife Akshata Murty joined in with Sanskrit singing and made prayer offerings at the Hindu temple

Akshata Murty played football with local schoolchildren at the British Council during an official visit ahead of the G20 summit

Akshata Murty played football with local schoolchildren at the British Council during an official visit ahead of the G20 summit

The PM and his wife meet schoolchildren in Delhi during a meeting of the British Council on Friday

The PM and his wife meet schoolchildren in Delhi during a meeting of the British Council on Friday

Their visit to the temple on Sunday came ahead of a trip with other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and France's Emmanuel Macron, to Raj Ghat to pay homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial

Their visit to the temple on Sunday came ahead of a trip with other world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron, to Raj Ghat to pay homage at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) welcomes US President Joe Biden (R) Rishi Sunak to the memorial site in Rajghat

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) welcomes US President Joe Biden (R) Rishi Sunak to the memorial site in Rajghat

No 10 officials said it marked the biggest single funding commitment the UK has made to help the world tackle climate change.

It comes after Mr Modi, who as leader of India is president of the G20 this year, made a call ahead of the summit for wealthier countries to offer support for developing nations that are battling against the impact of climate change, which is being experienced in the form of harsher weather conditions and rising sea levels.

In an article published in a host of international publications, including The Times, Mr Modi said: ‘Ambitions for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and transfer of technology.’

The bumper climate change contribution comes in the context of the UK and India negotiating a potential free trade deal, with Mr Sunak and his Indian counterpart broaching the topic during talks on the fringes of the summit on Saturday.

Speaking after their conversation, Mr Sunak signalled that there was optimism the two countries could ‘work through’ the final negotiation hurdles.

France's President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, US President Joe Biden, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pay respect at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat

France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, US President Joe Biden, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pay respect at the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat

In an unexpected move at the summit, India managed to secure a joint agreement on Saturday, with all 20 of the world’s top economies signing-off on wording in relation to the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Sunak said he thought a ‘very strong’ joint message about Moscow’s attack had been made ‘under Prime Minister Modi and India’s presidency’ of the G20, particularly on the impact of the Kremlin’s blockade of Ukrainian grain.

But Ukraine hit out at the communique after Russia and China objected even to language that they had agreed to last year at the G20 summit in Bali when Moscow’s ‘aggression’ was cited.

The final statement this year, released a day before the formal close of the summit, highlighted the ‘human suffering and negative added impacts of the war in Ukraine’, but did not mention Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry tweeted: ‘In terms of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, G20 has nothing to be proud of.’

Mr Putin stayed away from the Indian summit, with the Prime Minister saying his absence showed how the authoritarian leader was ‘completely isolated’ on the world stage.




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