• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Diplomacy

Modi meets Sunak & other leaders on G7 summit sidelines

During his brief meeting with the British PM, Modi focused on strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi meets with his UK counterpart Rishi Sunak on the sidelines of the 50th G7 Summit, in Apulia, Italy, on June 14, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi, who has embarked on his first foreign trip after taking oath for the third consecutive term over the weekend, met world leaders such as his British counterpart Rishi Sunak, French president Emmanuel Macron and the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskky on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Apulia in Italy on Friday (14).

The Indian PM is in the southern European nation on the invitation of his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, who welcomed the high-profile guests with the Indian ‘namaste’, for the Outreach Session of the summit.

During his brief meeting with Sunak, Modi focused on strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The British leader is bound for an election on July 4 but surveys show his Conservative Party trailing the opposition Labour by a fair distance.

Read: Modi reaches Italy for G7 summit; to meet world leaders

Indian PM Narendra Modi meets French president Emmanuel Macron
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi interacts with French president Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the 50th G7 Summit, in Apulia, Italy, on June 14, 2024. (ANI Photo)

With Macron, too, Modi spoke about ways to strengthen the strategic partnership between New Delhi and Paris. The Indian leader spoke with Zelenskyy, who he had met on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima in Japan last year, on various aspects of the east European nation’s current conflict with Russia.

Modi later said on X that he was delighted to meet Sunak and called his talks with Macron an “excellent” one.

Read: AI, energy, Africa to be in focus: Modi ahead of G7 summit

India’s MEA updates about meetings

India’s ministry of external affairs (MEA) gave updates about Modi’s meetings with the leaders. It said while the Indian PM spoke with Macron in key areas such as defence, nuclear, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, connectivity and culture, among others, the two leaders also agreed to intensify their countries’ strategic defence cooperation with increased focus on ‘Make in India’.

The MEA also updated about Modi’s talks with Sunak, saying the duo spoke about the India-UK Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, enhancing industrial cooperation in the defence sector, boosting trade and commerce.

MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said 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”.

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