14 Jun 2024

PM Modi Meets World Leaders at G7 Summit in Italy; Holds Talks With Zelensky, Emmanuel Macron, Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Italy attending the G7 Summit, engaging in crucial bilateral discussions with global leaders. The summit is taking place at the opulent Borgo Egnazia resort in Italy's Apulia region. India has been invited as an Outreach country, marking PM Modi's first international trip since beginning his third consecutive term as Prime Minister.

During the summit, PM Modi has already held bilateral meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. 

Additional talks are scheduled with several other leaders, including Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. Notably, PM Modi also met President Zelensky on the sidelines of the previous G7 Summit in Hiroshima last May.

"Friday is a packed day for him (PM Modi). We have several bilateral meetings with world leaders lined up. PM will also be addressing the Outreach session of the G7 Summit," said Randhir Jaiswal, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, in a video message.

Following PM Modi's meeting with President Macron, Jaiswal shared on X (formerly Twitter), "Taking Strategic Partnership to new levels! PM @narendramodi met President @EmmanuelMacron of France on the sidelines of the 50th G7 Summit in Apulia, Italy." 

He further added that the leaders discussed ways to enhance cooperation in various sectors, including defense, nuclear energy, space, education, climate action, digital public infrastructure, critical technologies, connectivity, and culture. They also exchanged views on pressing global and regional issues.

First day of the summit focused on Russia-Ukraine conflict

The first day of the summit was heavily focused on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Leaders endorsed a US proposal for a $50-billion loan to Kyiv, utilizing frozen Russian assets. US President Joe Biden hailed this as a "significant outcome" and a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his departure statement, PM Modi expressed his satisfaction with Italy being the destination for his first foreign visit in his third term. He reminisced about his visit to Italy for the G20 Summit in 2021 and acknowledged Prime Minister Meloni's visits to India last year, which significantly advanced their bilateral relations. "We remain committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and Mediterranean regions," PM Modi stated.

Meloni emphasized the choice of southern Italy as the venue

In her opening remarks at the G7 leaders' meeting, Prime Minister Meloni emphasized the choice of southern Italy as the venue, aiming to convey a strong message to the Global South. "It is no coincidence that we are hosting the summit in Apulia. We did this because Apulia is a region of southern Italy, and the message we want to launch is that the G7, under the Italian presidency, wishes to strengthen its dialogue with the nations of the Global South," she said.

Italy stands as India's fourth-largest trading partner within the European Union, with bilateral trade amounting to $15 billion.

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