PM Modi leaves for Italy to attend outreach session of G7 Summit | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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PM Modi leaves for Italy to attend outreach session of G7 Summit

Jun 13, 2024 07:47 PM IST

PM Modi is travelling to Italy’s Apulia region to participate in the G7 outreach session at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni

NEW DELHI: India will focus on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, the Mediterranean and issues crucial to the Global South during its participation in the outreach session of the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplanes for Italy to attend the 50th G7 leaders’ summit in New Delhi (PTI/VIA @MEAIndia)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplanes for Italy to attend the 50th G7 leaders’ summit in New Delhi (PTI/VIA @MEAIndia)

PM Modi is travelling to Italy’s Apulia region to participate in the G7 outreach session at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, his first overseas visit in his third term. He is expected to have bilateral interactions with several world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, on the margins of the summit.

“During the discussions at the outreach session, the focus would be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean. It will be an opportunity to bring greater synergy between the outcomes of the G20 Summit held under India’s presidency and the forthcoming G7 Summit, and deliberate on issues which are crucial for the Global South,” Modi said in a statement ahead of his departure from New Delhi.

“I am also looking forward to meeting other leaders participating in the summit,” he said.

Modi expressed his happiness that his first visit in his third term would take him to Italy. “I warmly recall my visit to Italy for the G20 Summit in 2021. Prime Minister Meloni’s two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda,” he said.

New Delhi is committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean regions, he said.

Modi’s bilateral meetings with Meloni and Pope Francis, who too has been invited to the outreach session, have been officially confirmed. It is expected that he will also have bilateral interactions with Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, people familiar with the matter said.

However, much of the speculation has centred around whether Modi will also interact with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, given the strain in bilateral ties, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is a special invitee to the summit.

The G7 Summit, being held at the resort of Fasano on June 13-15, is set to be dominated by the Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict. Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra told the media on Wednesday that India will continue to push for a return to dialogue and diplomacy to find a resolution to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Besides India, the leaders of Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia and Türkiye have been invited to the outreach session.

Modi, however, will not participate in the Ukraine peace summit to be hosted by Switzerland at Bürgenstock during June 15-16. Kwatra said India will be represented at this meeting “at an appropriate level”, though New Delhi is yet to take a call on who will attend.

Since Russia’s invaded Ukraine in February 2022, New Delhi hasn’t criticised Moscow’s actions. It has sought an end to hostilities and asked both sides to return to the negotiating table to find a resolution. India has also highlighted the impact of the war, especially the spiralling prices of food, fuel and fertilisers, on countries of the Global South.

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