PM Modi flies to Italy for G7 Summit, 'encounter' with President Biden likely

India has been invited as an outreach country to the Summit

modi-biden-g20-pti Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden, in New Delhi | PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Italy on Thursday to attend the G7 Summit, his first overseas visit since he assumed office for the third time.

The G7 Summit will see leaders of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom deliberate on topics of global interest. Besides these seven nations, India has been invited as an outreach country to the Summit.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on Wednesday that Modi will travel to Apulia in Italy at the invitation of Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni. "The G7 points to increasing recognition and contribution of the efforts that India has been consistently making including those of peace, security, development and environment preservation," Kwatra said.

Modi will also likely meet President Biden at the sidelines of the Summit. Biden arrived in Italy Wednesday night. According to National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan, Biden expects to see Prime Minister Modi here. "It's up to the Indians to formally confirm his attendance, but our expectation is that the two of them will have the opportunity to encounter one another. The nature of that encounter is still fluid because so much of the schedule is fluid," Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to Italy to attend the G7 Summit, along with the US president.

He added that Biden spoke to Modi over the phone to congratulate him on the election outcome and on being sworn in as Prime Minister for a third term.

It is confirmed that Modi will meet Meloni but details of bilateral or meetings with other leaders are still being worked out.

Ukraine, Israel war to dominate G7

This year too, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is likely to dominate the Summit with Biden planning to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the meet. The two will sign a bilateral security agreement for Ukraine "making clear our (US) support will last long into the future."

"After the meeting, the leaders will sign a bilateral security agreement mentioning that the US support for Ukraine will last long and pledge continued cooperation, particularly in the areas of defence and security," Sullivan said.

"And by signing this, we'll also be sending Russia a signal of our resolve. If Vladimir Putin thinks that he can outlast the coalition supporting Ukraine, he's wrong. He just cannot wait us out, and this agreement will show our resolve and continued commitment," Sullivan said.


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