On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a warm welcome to a host of world leaders and heads of international organizations who gathered at Rajghat to pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. The dignitaries included United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani, Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Spain’s Vice-President Nadia Calvino, and the Minister of Economy of the United Mexican States, Raquel Buenrostro Sánchez, among others.
PM Modi, in a gesture of reverence, presented each leader with a Khadi shawl featuring a cutout of Gandhi Ashram in the backdrop. The leaders, upon arrival, not only paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi but also laid wreaths at his memorial.
Before the commencement of the G20 summit’s official events, the visiting leaders were treated to a live performance. Following this, they partook in a tree plantation ceremony at Bharat Mandapam.
Rajghat was adorned with vibrant flowers and decorations, creating an ambiance of serenity for the dignitaries as they arrived. The national capital saw heightened security measures implemented to ensure the safety of the leaders and the smooth flow of traffic.
Delhi Traffic Police issued an alert, stating, “Traffic Alert: Controlled Zone 2 has been implemented, and consequently, buses will not operate on Ring Road between ISBT Kashmiri Gate and Sarai Kale Khan. Buses will operate on the remaining stretch of Ring Road and the road network beyond Ring Road towards the borders of Delhi.”
Prime Minister Modi personally greeted US President Joe Biden, who had also come to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi. President Biden received a khadi gift from PM Modi during this visit. Notably, leaders from France, Indonesia, South Africa, Oman, Singapore, as well as prominent figures like United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Bank Chief Ajay Banga, and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, were among those who attended the solemn ceremony at Rajghat before moving on to the G20 summit’s next session at Bharat Mandapam.
The world leaders paid respect for Mahatma Gandhi’s enduring legacy and the shared commitment to global cooperation embodied by the G20 Summit’s theme.
This year’s G20 Summit, presided over by India, carries the theme of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth · One Family · One Future.” India assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1 of the previous year.
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