PM Modi in Italy for G7 Summit, to hold bilateral with Meloni, likely to meet Pope


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (local time) arrived in Italy’s Apulia 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.

“Looking forward to engaging in productive discussions with world leaders. Together, we aim to address global challenges and foster international cooperation for a brighter future,” he tweeted.

Before departing for Italy, PM Modi said he was “glad” that his first foreign visit in his third consecutive term as Prime Minister was to the European nation for the G7 Summit.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, in a video message from Brindisi airport, said that PM Modi will be addressing the outreach session of the G7 Summit.”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,” he said.

Ahead of his departure, PM Modi emphasised that India will focus on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean during the summit’s outreach session. He also stated that issues crucial to the Global South will be discussed.

India hosted the G20 Summit in Delhi last September, which was also attended by the world leaders gathering at the Apulia meet being held under the Italian presidency. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will welcome Modi as the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy on Friday.

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.

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.

During the summit, PM Modi is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. PM Modi is likely to meet US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is set to dominate the agenda as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived for the discussions on Thursday. While India has reiterated its stance on “dialogue and diplomacy” as the best approach, Sunak is leading calls for “decisive” efforts to support Ukraine “whatever it takes”.

In his pre-visit media briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra recalled PM Modi’s statement in September 2022 that “today’s era is not of war”. The Foreign Secretary said India will continue to share its perspective with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

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.UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Biden, 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 were the G7 leaders who attended Thursday’s meeting.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the G7 Summit.

(PTI inputs)