• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Diaspora

Modi reaches Vienna, poses for selfie with Austria chancellor

The two leaders met over a private dinner ahead of their formal bilateral talks on July 10.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi with Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer (to his left) on his arrival for a private dinner in Vienna on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (9) evening reached Austria after concluding a significant visit to Russia. He became the first Indian prime minister to set foot in Vienna in more than four decades. His predecessor Indira Gandhi was the last premier to visit the central European country in 1983.

During his stay in the Austrian capital, Modi will call on Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen and hold talks with its chancellor Karl Nehammer. He will also address business leaders from India and Austria along with Nehammer.

The chancellor, who extended a warm welcome to the Indian leader, was seen taking a selfie with the latter during a private dinner.

In a post on X, Nehammer wrote, “Welcome to Vienna, PM @narendramodi! It is a pleasure and honour to welcome you to Austria. Austria and India are friends and partners. I look forward to our political and economic discussions during your visit!”

Read: Modi receives Russia’s highest civilian award from Putin

Acknowledging the welcome, Modi posted in English and German, “Thank you, Chancellor @karlnehammer, for the warm welcome. I look forward to our discussions tomorrow as well. Our nations will continue working together to further global good.”


The Indian prime minister also met and greeted members of the Indian diaspora. Modi on Wednesday (10) posted on X a video of the rendition of Vande Mataram, India’s national song, by Austrian musicians. It was conducted by an Indian musician Vijay Upadhyaya who is the director of the Vienna University Philharmonic and founded the India National Youth Orchestra.

Read: Death of innocent children painful: Modi to Putin amid Ukraine offensive

Indian PM Narendra Modi in Vienna, Austria.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by members of the Indian diaspora in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (ANI Photo)

Modi, who is also seen in the video, attending the rendition, captioned, “Austria is known for its vibrant musical culture. I got a glimpse of it thanks to this amazing rendition of Vande Mataram!”

Earlier in the day, Modi tweeted pictures from the airport in Vienna following his aircraft’s landing. In posts on X, he said in English and German, “Landed in Vienna. This visit to Austria is a special one. Our nations are connected by shared values and a commitment to a better planet. Looking forward to the various programmes in Austria including talks with Chancellor @karlnehammer, interactions with the Indian community and more.”

Ahead of his visit to Russia and Austria, Modi said on Monday (8), “Over the next three days, will be in Russia and Austria. These visits will be a wonderful opportunity to deepen ties with these nations, with whom India has time tested friendship. I also look forward to interacting with the Indian community living in these countries.”

In 2021, the Indian prime minister met then Austrian chancellor Alexander Schallenberg on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. The latter is now the country’s foreign minister.

Last week, India’s outgoing foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra called Austria an “important central European country” which offers major opportunities for bilateral cooperation in fields of infrastructure, renewable energy, high technology areas, startup sectors, media and entertainment.

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