Prez Murmu, PM Modi welcome Biden, other G20 guests at grand dinner

Backdrop of the reception dais showcased ruins of Nalanda University

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcome US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at the Bharat Mandapam for the Gala Dinner | PTI President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcome US President Joe Biden upon his arrival at the Bharat Mandapam for the Gala Dinner | PTI

President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday welcomed G20 leaders and other guests, including US President Joe Biden, at a grand dinner hosted for them at Bharat Mandapam, the venue for the Summit, here.

They welcomed the guests before the start of the dinner from the reception dais, with its backdrop showcasing the ruins of the Nalanda University in Bihar besides India's G20 presidency theme -- 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - One Earth, One Family, One Future'.

Nalanda university ruins, a UNESCO world heritage site, was one of the oldest educational institutes of the world.

President Murmu and PM Modi received Biden and exchanged greetings briefly at the dais.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director and Chairman Kristalina Georgieva, dressed in Indian traditional attire Salwar Kurta, World Bank President Ajay Banga along with his wife Ritu Banga, and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were among the first to arrive at the newly built convention centre in Pragati Maidan.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yoko Kishida, who was dressed in a saree, Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese along with his spouse and Mauritian PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and his wife, were among other dignitaries welcomed by President Murmu and Modi.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were also greeted by Murmu and Modi.

The prime minister was also seen explaining to some of the G20 leaders, including US President Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Macron and Australian PM Albanese, about the importance of the university.

President Murmu hosted the ceremonial dinner for the G20 leaders, international delegates and other dignitaries at the Bharat Mandapam.

The newly built international convention and exhibition centre and its verdant lawns dazzled at night with colourful illumination while its gurgling fountains and the 'Nataraja' statue placed on front of the state-of-the-art building created a pretty picture.

In a significant milestone under India's G20 presidency, the 55-member African Union on Saturday became a new permanent member of the grouping of the largest economies of the world. It is the first expansion of the influential bloc since its inception in 1999.

All member countries of the G20 accepted Prime Minister Modi's proposal to bring the key bloc of the Global South to the high table of the world's top economies.

Earlier in the day, the President has said that India's G20 Presidency theme, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - One Earth, One Family, One Future', is a global roadmap for sustainable, inclusive, and human-centric development.

"A warm welcome to all Heads of Delegations of the G20 nations, guest countries, and international organisations participating in the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi," Murmu had said in a post on X.

The G20 Summit began at the Bharat Mandapam on Saturday and will conclude on Sunday. 

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