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World Leaders Hail Appointment Of Rishi Sunak As UK PM

Rishi Sunak, 42, on Monday, won the race to lead the Conservative Party and became Britain's first prime minister of Indian-origin on Tuesday.

Rishi Sunak
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Several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have lauded Rishi Sunak becoming the UK's new Prime Minister as a "ground-breaking milestone" and hoped for better bilateral relations amidst a turbulent world.

Sunak, 42, on Monday, won the race to lead the Conservative Party and became Britain's first prime minister of Indian-origin on Tuesday.

Sunak is the third UK prime minister this year and replaces Liz Truss, who served as Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister for just 45 days.

"Congratulations to Rishi Sunak on becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Together, I look forward to enhancing our cooperation on issues critical to global security and prosperity, including continuing our strong support for Ukraine," US President Joe Biden tweeted on Tuesday.

Earlier during a Diwali celebration at the White House on Monday, referring to Sunak becoming the British Prime Minister, Biden had said, "It’s pretty astounding, a groundbreaking milestone and it matters.”

The Kremlin on Tuesday said that Russia sees no reason to expect relations with the UK to improve under Sunak.

Russia does not see any “preconditions, grounds, or hope” for building more constructive relations with Great Britain in the foreseeable future, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, commenting on the appointment of Sunak as the UK’s new prime minister.

“No, at present, we do not see any preconditions, grounds or hopes for some positive shifts in the foreseeable future,” the Russian presidential spokesman was quoted as saying by the official TASS news agency.

Peskov said this while commenting on the prospects of warmer relations between the two countries with the appointment of the UK’s new prime minister.

Russia-UK relations have soured even further since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February. The UK responded with several rounds of sanctions, and it is one of the main backers of President Volodymyr Zelensky. The UK has also provided substantial military support to Ukraine, the report added.

Congratulating Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a tweet said the partnership between Canada and the UK "is defined by the history – and the priorities – we share".

"As we work to deliver results for the people who call Canada and the United Kingdom home, let’s continue to strengthen this partnership," he said.

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy tweeted his congratulations to Sunak. "I wish you to successfully overcome all the challenges facing British society and the whole world today. I'm ready to continue strengthening the Ukraine-UK strategic partnership together!" he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron also congratulated Sunak.

"Together we will continue working to tackle the challenges of the moment, including the war in Ukraine and its many consequences for Europe and the world," Macron tweeted.

China's leadership has said that it wants to "advance ties with the UK" under Sunak, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was quoted as saying by the BBC.

"We hope that we can work with the UK side on the basis of mutual respect and win-win co-operation and advance China-UK relations along the right track," he said.

Sunak has favoured closer ties with China than his predecessor and was criticised by Truss for pursuing a trading relationship when chancellor, the report added.

Australia’s treasurer, Jim Chalmers, called Sunak a great friend of Australia and lauded the significance of Britain having its first prime minister of Asian descent, The Canberra Times newspaper reported.

“I don’t think it’s insignificant that a country like the United Kingdom has its first prime minister of colour,” he said on Tuesday.

European leaders couched their well-wishes with statements on the need for a stable and predictable neighbour.

The European Council president, Charles Michel, tweeted his congratulations on Monday night, emphasising that Brussels and London faced shared challenges.

“Working together is the only way to face common challenges... and bringing stability is key to overcoming them,” he wrote.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has congratulated Sunak on becoming prime minister.

But she added that the EU-UK relationship must be in “full respect of our agreements” - likely in part a reference to the ongoing dispute on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The European Commission and UK government restarted talks on how to fix the post Brexit treaty this autumn, during Truss’s brief premiership.

The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, said the EU legislature was committed to having “a strong and constructive relationship with the UK”.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says the new British leader is a "good friend" of his country, the NZ Herald reported.

He hoped the Tory leader would help seal a free trade agreement with his country.

“Clearly, the UK is facing some very significant economic issues at the moment, he’s said that himself. Inflation up over 10 per cent, the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine, so it’s going to be a very tough time for him,” he said.

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"So, we wish Rishi Sunak well. I personally look forward to working with whoever he names as chancellor of the exchequer."

Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said he looked forward to working with Sunak, "on the important issues we face on these islands and globally".

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