Sunday, July 21, 2024

PM Modi departs for three-nation visit

New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi on Friday embarked on a tour to Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea to attend key multilateral summits including that of the G7 and Quad.

PM Modi will travel to Japan first for the G7 Summit, where he is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of the world’s most powerful democracies. The G7 counts the United States, Japan, France, the UK, Germany, Canada and Italy among its members. The European Union functions effectively as a full member of the body. India, along with key partner countries like Australia, Indonesia and South Korea, has also been invited for the summit.

As India holds the G20 presidency this year, its participation in the G7 was significant, the PM said in his departure statement. “I look forward to exchanging views with the G7 countries and other invited partners on challenges that the world faces and the need to collectively address them,” PM Modi said as he set out for Japan.

Modi will be in Japan from 19-21 May.

Japan is also set to play host to the Quad Leaders Summit. The meeting, one of the most anticipated events in the annual diplomatic calendar, was originally expected to take place in Australia on 24 May.

However, the ongoing talks in the United States between the Biden administration and opposition Republicans over raising the debt ceilings led President Joe Biden to cancel his planned visit to Australia. The four countries now hope to hold the meeting in Japan, where all four leaders will be attending the G7 Summit.

Modi will then proceed to PNG, where he will hold a meeting with Pacific Island countries.

“This will be my first visit, as also the first ever visit by any Indian Prime Minister, to Papua New Guinea. I will host on 22 May 2023 the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC III Summit) jointly with H.E. Mr. James Marape, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. I am grateful that all 14 Pacific Island Countries (PIC) have accepted the invitation to attend this important Summit. FIPIC had been launched during my visit to Fiji in 2014, and I look forward to engaging with the PIC Leaders on issues that bring us together, such as climate change and sustainable development, capacity building and training, health and well-being, infrastructure and economic development,” Modi said.

He is also expected to meet with the Prime Ministers of Fiji and New Zealand, according to Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra.

For the final leg of his visit, he will meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney. This will be the fifth meeting between the two leaders in the space of a year. They first met during the Quad Leaders Summit in May last year, shortly after Albanese took office as prime minister. PM Modi is also expected to meet with the governor-general of Australia, David Hurley. Modi will interact with Australian CEOs and will also meet with the Indian diaspora in the country, he announced. The prime minister’s visit will conclude on May 24.

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