In a rare moment, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape touched Prime Minister Narendra Modi's feet and sought blessings upon the latter's arrival at Port Moresby airport. Modi reached the Indo-Pacific country on the second leg of his three-nation tour.
This is Modi's first tour to PNG, as well as the first-ever visit by any Indian prime minister to the Indo-Pacific country.
Normally Papua New Guinea doesn't give a ceremonial welcome to any leader coming after sunset. But a special exception was made for Prime Minister Modi and a ceremonial welcome was accorded to him.
A traditional folk dance performance was also staged outside the airport to welcome PM Modi to PNG.
"Reached Papua New Guinea. I am thankful to PM James Marape for coming to the airport and welcoming me. This is a very special gesture which I will always remember. I look forward to boosting India's ties with this great nation during my visit," the prime minister tweeted.
Modi and Marape will host the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). The summit will take place at a time when China is making efforts to enhance its military and diplomatic influence in the region.
The prime minister, who wrapped up his Japan visit on Sunday, will fly to Australia after his engagements in PNG.