PM Modi joins G7 talks on second day of summit, hugs and greets Pope

Prime Minister Modi held bilateral meetings with world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Italy.
PM Modi joins G7 talks on second day of summit, hugs and greets Pope
Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni at the venue of the G7 Summit in Italy. Both leaders greeted each other with folded hands and briefly exchanged greetings.

He also met Pope Francis at the Outreach Session of the Summit.

Earlier today, PM Modi held separate bilateral meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the event. PM Modi met French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

While Macron and Modi discussed ways to further strengthen the strategic partnership, including in areas of defence, nuclear, and space, Zelenskyy briefed Modi on various aspects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. His brief meeting with Sunak was also focused on strengthening bilateral relations.

PM Modi arrived in Italy's Apulia earlier today to attend the outreach session of the G7 Summit and is expected to meet several leaders on the sidelines of the event on Friday. This is the Prime Minister's first foreign trip after being sworn in for a record third term.

PM Modi and Macron discussed ways to further strengthen partnership including in areas of defence, nuclear, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, critical technologies, connectivity and culture, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Both leaders agreed to further intensify strategic defence cooperation with increased focus on 'Make in India', the MEA said in a statement.

During PM Modi's meeting with Rishi Sunak, the leaders talked about the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, enhancing industrial cooperation in the defence sector, boosting trade and commerce, and more, the External Affairs Ministry said.

PM Modi and Zelenskyy "reviewed the bilateral relationship and exchanged views on situation in Ukraine. PM conveyed that India continues to encourage peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy," according to MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

The Prime Minister called it a "very productive meeting" and said "India is eager to further cement bilateral relations with Ukraine".

PM Modi is expected to address an outreach session of the G7 Summit. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will welcome Modi as the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy on Friday.

"The Prime Minister of India has arrived at Brindisi Airport in Italy to participate in the G7 Summit. Tomorrow (Friday) is a packed day for him. We have several bilateral meetings with world leaders lined up. He will also be addressing the outreach session of the G7 Summit," Jaiswal said.

The Prime Minister will also be participating in a summit session entitled Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa-Mediterranean to be hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni and joined by Pope Francis. The Pope is also expected to hold bilateral talks with PM Modi.

Italy extended an invitation to India to attend the summit as an outreach country. This is PM Modi’s fifth consecutive participation in the G7 summit, with India having attended ten previous summits. As the current Chair of the G7, Italy is hosting the gathering of the bloc of seven major advanced economies, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US, along with the European Union.

On Friday, the second day of the three-day summit, world leaders discussed issues of migration followed by the Indo-Pacific and economic security. The Russia-Ukraine conflict was dominating the agenda on Thursday, where India has reiterated its stance on "dialogue and diplomacy" as the best approach.

In her opening address on Thursday at the meeting of the G7 leaders, Meloni said southern Italy was chosen as the venue to send a strong message to the Global South. On Friday's talks, she said, “We will be discussing the importance of our increased focus on the Indo-Pacific".

Besides the participants of the G7 hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni – US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel – the Prime Minister will be joined by leaders of 10 other outreach nations invited to the summit.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the G7 Summit. Heads of the governments of Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Jordan, Kenya, and Mauritania – in its capacity as chair of the African Union, Tunisia, Turkey and the UAE are among the other outreach nations joining India at the summit.

Source: India Today

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