• Thursday, July 25, 2024

Diplomacy

Modi set to visit Italy for G7 summit, his first foreign trip in new term

The Indian PM had attended the G7 summit last year in Hiroshima in Japan where he met a number of top leaders, including US president Joe Biden and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskky.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi will travel to Italy on Thursday (13) to attend the annual summit of G7 advanced economies in his first trip abroad after assuming office for the third straight term over the weekend.

The three-day G7 summit, to be held in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy’s Apulia region the same day, is likely to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.

US president Joe Biden, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau are among the top leaders attending the summit.

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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is also scheduled for a session on the Russian invasion of his country.

People familiar with Modi’s planned trip to Italy said he will return late on Friday (14).

Modi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that is likely to include external affairs minister S Jaishankar, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and national security adviser Ajit Doval, the sources said.

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Modi is set to hold a number of bilateral meetings during the trip, including with his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni.

Modi had attended the previous G7 summit in Hiroshima in Japan in May last year. On the sidelines of the summit, he had held talks with Zelenskyy and a number of other leaders, including Biden.

The G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan. Italy is holding the current presidency of the bloc and is hosting the summit in that capacity.

A key focus of the Italian presidency has been to defend the rules-based international system. Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide, according to Italy. The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for the global agenda, it says.

The bloc expanded into the G8 between 1997 and 2013, with the inclusion of Russia. However, Russia’s participation was suspended in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

In line with its tradition, representatives of a number of countries and international organisations are invited to the summit by the host nation that holds the chair.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit. Though the European Union is not a member of the G7, it attends the annual summit.

(With PTI inputs)

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