• Thursday, July 25, 2024

Diplomacy

AI, energy, Africa to be in focus: Modi ahead of G7 visit to Italy

It is the Indian PM’s first foreign trip after taking oath for the third successive term.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi waves his hand before departing for Italy from New Delhi for the G7 summit on June 13, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AS HE embarks on a visit to Italy to attend an Outreach session at the G7 summit, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (13) said its focus would be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean.

Modi said this in a departure statement before leaving for the European nation in his first foreign trip after becoming prime minister for a third term over the weekend.

He said issues crucial for the Global South will also be deliberated upon at the Outreach session.

The G7 summit, to be held in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy’s Apulia region for three days starting Thursday, is expected to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.

Read: Modi, Biden likely to meet on G7 sidelines: NSA Sullivan

“At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach summit on June 14,” Modi said.

The prime minister said he was glad that his first visit in the third consecutive term is to Italy for the G7 summit.

“During the discussions at the Outreach session, the focus will be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean,” Modi said.

Read: A day before Modi’s visit for G7, Gandhi bust vandalised in Italy

“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,” he said. Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Meloni.

“Prime Minister Meloni’s two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda,” he said.

“We remain committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership, and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Mediterranean regions,” he said. The prime minister is likely to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. “I am also looking forward to meeting other leaders participating in the Summit,” he said.

The G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan. Italy is holding the current presidency of the G7 (Group of Seven) and is hosting the summit in that capacity. A key focus of the Italian presidency has been to defend the rules-based international system.

According to Italy, Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide. 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 the grouping’s 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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