Modi welcomes Rishi Sunak as UK's next PM

Modi welcomes Rishi Sunak as UK's next PM

World leaders have been reacting to Rishi Sunak’s victory in the race to be the next British prime minister.

Many offered their congratulations, and expressed hope for stability after a “turbulent” few weeks.

India

Image source, Getty Images

What the leadership is saying: “As you become UK PM, I look forward to working closely together on global issues, and implementing Roadmap 2030,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, referring to a framework agreement struck between the two countries. “Special Diwali wishes to the ‘living bridge’ of UK Indians, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership.”

What the press is saying: Mr Sunak’s appointment has been big news in India, with Indian news channels breaking into rolling coverage. “Indian son rises over the Empire, history comes full circle in Britain,” was how one channel put it.

The background: It is no surprise that there is a lot of interest in Mr Sunak’s rise in India. His grandparents come from Punjab, while his father-in-law is Narayana Murthy, is the founder of Infosys and one of India’s best-known businessmen. Sunak is also a Hindu who took his oath as MP on the Hindu holy book the Bhagavad Gita. India and the UK have been trying to strike a free trade deal, but talks reportedly stalled over fears among Sunak’s party it could lead to more immigration.

The European Union

Image source, Getty Images

What the leadership is saying: European Council President Charles Michel said: “Working together is the only way to face common challenges… and bringing stability is key to overcoming them.”

Also Read  BJP Committed To Develop Amaravati As Andhra Pradesh Capital: Union Minister Kishan Reddy

The background: Rishi Sunak is a Brexit supporter, but many EU leaders will have breathed a sigh of relief that he, not Boris Johnson, is taking over as prime minister, our Europe editor Katya Adler says. He is considered a pragmatist, and EU officials will want to work with him on rising energy costs, and the difficult issue of the Northern Ireland protocol, an important trading arrangement struck during Brexit talks.

During the August leadership contest, Mr Sunak said a trade war with the EU was not in the UK’s interest. But finding compromise may be politically difficult for him, and Brussels fears he might shun working with the EU to protect his political support at home.

Ireland

Image source, Getty Images

What the leadership is saying: Irish PM Micheál Martin said he looked forward to working with Mr Sunak, “on the important issues we face on these islands and globally”.

What the press is saying: The Irish Times welcomed Mr Sunak’s reputation for “sensible politics”, but said he will face challenges, particularly with Brexit. It is not yet clear what his election means for the Northern Ireland protocol, the paper said. The Irish Independent said the new prime minister had been “vindicated” after the “folly” of Ms Truss’s tax cuts.

The background: Brexit remains one of the key issues between the UK and Ireland, with the Northern Ireland protocol now at the forefront of the agenda. Currently, goods being imported from Britain are checked before entering Northern Ireland. But the UK government previously called for a two-tier system, with checks only being conducted on goods destined for onward travel to the republic.

Also Read  DRDO Conducts Maiden Flight-Test Of Ballistic Missile Defence Interceptor. Watch Video

The US

Media caption, Watch: Biden calls Sunak’s rise to UK prime minister a “ground-breaking milestone”

What the leadership is saying: At a White House event to mark the Hindu holiday of Diwali, President Biden described Mr Sunak’s nomination as the UK’s next prime minister a “ground-breaking milestone”. The US president is holding back on formally congratulating Mr Sunak until he has met King Charles and been asked to form a government, as protocol dictates.

What the press is saying: The New York Times lauds the “record of representation” built by the Conservatives in recent years, saying Mr Sunak’s victory is another milestone in a history of promoting women and people of colour to prominent positions. The Washington Post also emphasised Mr Sunak’s position as the first person of colour to be prime minister. The paper added that it would be “the first time in history that the residents of Downing Street are richer than those of Buckingham Palace”.

The background: Joe Biden has already said he would maintain a “close relationship” with whoever succeeded Ms Truss. He called her abandoned plans to cut taxes a “mistake”, causing some eyebrows to be raised – US presidents tend to avoid commenting on allies’ domestic policies.

Ukraine

Image source, Getty Images

What the leadership is saying: President Zelensky has not yet commented on Mr Sunak’s victory. Oleksandr Kornienko, the First Deputy Chairman of Ukraine’s parliament, said he welcomed Mr Sunak as a “colleague”. He added: “Congratulations to the people of Great Britain on the fact that they have political stability again. After a short stage of turbulence.”

Also Read  Bihar: India village celebrates first government job in 75 years

What the press is saying: The Glavkom website said both Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson would have been “good news” for Ukraine. Mr Sunak’s remarks on Ukraine so far have been “promising”, the website said, contrasting his statement in a debate that he does not want to meet Vladimir Putin with Liz Truss’s readiness to speak to the Russian president.

The background: UK policy towards Ukraine will not change under Mr Sunak. During the summer leadership contest, he said he would continue backing Ukraine, and make an early visit to Kyiv. But while Ms Truss promised to increase defence spending from 2% to 3% of national wealth – measured by gross domestic product – by 2030, Mr Sunak has said that target was “arbitrary” and “not a plan”.