Home Europe Days After Swearing In, PM Heads For His 5th G7 Summit

Days After Swearing In, PM Heads For His 5th G7 Summit

G7 Summit
PM Modi with the Italian PM Gorgia Meloni at the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Italy on Thursday to attend the 50th G7 Summit at the invitation of the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.

Modi’s maiden overseas visit to Puglia four days after being sworn in as the head of the world’s largest democracy for a third term, has evoked a lot of interest. He had last visited Italy for the G20 Summit in October 2021.

The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
This will be India’s 11th participation in the G7 Summit and Prime Minister Modi’s fifth consecutive participation at the G7 Summit.

At a special briefing in New Delhi on Wednesday, Foreign Secretary, Vinay Kwatra, said that India’s participation in these summits is significant as they focus on global burning issues.

Although the vandalization of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Italy allegedly by Khalistani extremists has cast a shadow on Modi’s visit, the Indian government said that it has broached the matter with the Italian authorities.

“It will also afford the Prime Minister an opportunity to engage with other world leaders present at the G7 Summit on issues of importance to India as also to the Global South. It provides a timely opportunity to follow up outcomes of the G20 Summit held under India’s presidency last year,.’’ Kwatra said.

Traditionally, the country that hosts the annual summit invites some non-members to join some of the sessions. This time, Italy has invited Pope Francis, the King of Jordan and Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, which holds the presidency of the African Union, South Africa Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and some international organizations including the UN.

He said that the focus at the outreach session will be on Artificial intelligence (AI), energy, Africa and the Mediterranean.

India’s regular participation at the G7 summit clearly points to increasing recognition of the efforts that India has been consistently making including those of peace, security, development and environment preservation, he added.

The key priorities of the summit include the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the war in the Middle East with its consequences for the global agenda. Other focus areas include relationships with developing nations and emerging economies with a focus on Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, migration, climate energy linkages food security and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The Foreign Secretary said, “On the sidelines of the G7 in Italy, PM Modi is also expected to hold bilateral meetings and discussions with the leaders of the G7 as also the outreach countries and the international organisations,” Kwatra said.

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

PM Modi is expected to review strategic partnerships, in bilateral meeting with Meloni, Italy’s first woman Prime Minister.

The two leaders share a good rapport from the time they met in November 2022 on the sidelines of the G 20 Summit in Bali.

In 2023, the two countries observed 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations. Six months after her victory in the general elections, the Italian PM paid her first State visit to India in March, 2023. It was during her visit that India Italy bilateral relations were upgraded to the level of ‘Strategic Partnership’ with focus on Defence, Indo Pacific, Energy and Science and Technology.

The Italian PM was also the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue, and attended the G20 Summit in Delhi in September, 2023. The two Prime Ministers also met on the sidelines of COP 28 in Abu Dhabi.

There has been a regular exchange of visits at political and official levels between both countries.

Italy is also India’s fourth largest trading partner in the European Union, with bilateral trade currently at USD 15 billion.

According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Italy is the 18th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative FDI inflow of USD 3.53 billion from January 2000 to December 2023.

The Indian community in Italy (estimated at 2,00,000 including PIOs) is the second largest diaspora in EU after Netherlands.

The Foreign Secretary also confirmed that India will be participating at an appropriate level in the Peace Summit in Switzerland on June 15 and 16. “The decision on who would represent India at the Peace Summit, is under consideration.’’

Switzerland has invited more than 160 delegations from around the world to join the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine at the Bürgenstock resort.