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PM Modi heads to Italy today for G7 Summit, first overseas visit after assuming office for third term

June 13, 2024 10:02 AM

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading to Italy on Thursday to attend a Summit of the Group of Seven (G7), marking his first trip abroad after assuming office for the third consecutive term.


Scheduled to be held between June 13-14 in the Apulia region and India has been been invited as an Outreach Country to the Summit, which will see participation from the seven member countries, US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, and France, as well as the European Union.


Indian ambassador to Italy, Vani Rao said that PM Modi will play an important role in one of the global platforms, to engage with other world leaders present at the G7 Summit on issues of importance to India, as well as to the Global South.


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni had invited PM Modi to attend the G7 Summit. It will be India's 11th participation in the G7 Summit and PM Modi's fifth consecutive participation at the G7 Summit. On the sidelines of the Summit, PM Modi is expected to hold bilateral meetings and discussions with the leaders of the G7 and Outreach nations as well as the international organisations.


Foreign Secretary Kwatra said that PM Modi is also expected to hold a bilateral meeting with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni and the two leaders are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties.


Addressing a special briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said the visit assumes significance as it will be Prime Minister's first overseas travel after assuming office in his third consecutive term. "It will also afford him an opportunity to engage with other world leaders present at the G7 Summit on issues of importance to India, as also to the Global South. This will be India's 11th participation in G7 Summit and Prime Minister Modi's fifth consecutive participation at the G7 Summit," he said.


Kwatra said that the focus of the G7 Summit's Outreach Session will be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean. He noted that India's participation at the G7 Summit points to increasing recognition and contribution of the efforts that India has been making in trying to resolve global challenges.


"It will be a bloc agenda item where the G7 and the Outreach Countries would share their views and perspective. India's regular participation at the G7 Summit clearly points to increasing recognition and contribution of the efforts that India has been consistently making in trying to resolve global challenges, including those of peace, security, development, and environment preservation."


"India's participation at this G7 Summit acquires particular salience in context of India's recently held, not so recent, presidency of the G20, where India took a leading role in building global consensus on a number of contentious issues.


As you are also aware, India has so far organized two sessions of the Voice of the Global South Summit, which have been aimed at bringing the interests, priorities, and concerns of the Global South on the global stage. At G7 also, we have always brought the issues of Global South to the forefront," he added.


On January 1, Italy assumed the G7 Presidency for the seventh time. Notably, the G7 nations are the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK.


Leaders of the seven member States, as well as the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission representing the European Union will attend the G7 Summit. Several States, including India, Turkiye and international organisations like the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have also been invited by Italy to the Outreach Session of the G7 Summit.


In the special briefing, Kwatra said that Italy is also India's partner in several global initiatives launched by India, including the International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative, Global Biofuel Alliance, and India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC).


On June 12, the Indian ambassador to Italy, Vani Rao said that PM Modi will play an important role in one of the global platforms, to engage with other world leaders present at the G7 Summit on issues of importance to India, as well as to the Global South.


Italy, which has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the G7 Summit Outreach Sessions, is India's fourth-largest trading partner in the European Union, with bilateral trade currently standing at USD 15 billion. The two countries have close and friendly relations and celebrated 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations last year.


PM Modi visited Italy for the G20 Summit in October 2021 and the Italian PM visited India on a State visit in March 2023 and was Chief Guest at Raisina Dialogue. She also visited India for the G20 Summit held under India's Presidency in September last year.


The bilateral relations between India and Italy were upgraded to the level of 'Strategic Partnership' with a focus on defence, science and technology, Indo-Pacific and energy during her visit.


There have been several high-level engagements between the two sides since the State visit of the Italian Prime Minister to India.


Several ministers from Italy visited India in 2023 for G20-related meetings and held bilateral meetings on the sidelines including the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Finance, Agriculture, Education and Culture Ministers. Speaker and President of the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies participated in the P20 meeting last year.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal visited Italy in November, October and April last year respectively.


It is the first time that PM Modi is travelling to a European nation on his first overseas visit after assuming office.
After assuming office for the first time in 2014, PM Modi made his first foreign trip to Bhutan and reaffirmed his commitment to enhance bilateral ties.


During his visit from June 15-16 in 2014, PM Modi met Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema. He also met his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay.


For his visit, PM Modi was accompanied by then-External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and then-Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.


His first visit abroad came days after he was sworn in as PM in New Delhi on May 26 2014. During his visit, he addressed the Joint Sitting of the Parliament and inaugurated the new Supreme Court building which was constructed with assistance from the Government of India assistance.


After taking oath for the second time in 2019, PM Modi made his first overseas visit to Maldives. At the invitation of then-Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, PM Modi travelled to Male for a two-day State visit to Maldives from June 8-9 in 2019.


After a ceremonial welcome in Male, Solih and PM Modi held one-on-one talks followed by delegation-level talks, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) release.

 

The two leaders had reiterated their strong commitment to further strengthening "strong and friendly relations" between India and the Maldives, nurtured by geographical contiguity, and ethnic, historical, socio-economic and cultural ties between the peoples of the two countries, according to MEA release.


He also delivered the address in the Maldivian Parliament. PM Modi spoke about India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy and called the Maldives a priority for India in the neighbourhood. He had also announced that India will contribute to the conservation of Maldives' Friday Mosque.

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