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Looking forward to engaging in productive discussions ... aim to address global challenges at G7 summit: PM Modi

India hosted the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, which was also attended by the world leaders gathering at the Apulia meet being held under the Italian presidency. The Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloni, will welcome Modi as the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy today.
Last Updated : 14 June 2024, 04:05 IST

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Bari, Italy: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he was looking forward to engaging in productive discussions with world leaders at the G7 Summit on Friday to address global challenges and foster international cooperation for a brighter future.

The Prime Minister's comments came as he arrived in Apulia, southern Italy, to attend the Outreach session of the G7 Summit.

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

During his day-long visit, Modi will be participating in a summit session entitled Artificial Intelligence, Energy, Africa-Mediterranean to be hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni and joined by Pope Francis. The Pope is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Modi, who has a series of meetings scheduled with the world leaders on the sidelines of the summit being held at the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia.

"Landed in Italy to take part in the G7 Summit. Looking forward to engaging in productive discussions with world leaders. Together, we aim to address global challenges and foster international cooperation for a brighter future," Prime Minister Modi posted on X.

Earlier in his departure statement, Modi said he was "glad" that his first foreign visit in his third consecutive term as Prime Minister was to Italy for the G7 Summit.

“I warmly recall my visit to Italy for the G20 Summit in 2021. Prime Minister Meloni's two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda. We remain committed to consolidate the India-Italy strategic partnership, and bolster cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Mediterranean regions,” his statement reads.

“During the discussions at the Outreach session, the focus would be on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean. It will be an opportunity to bring greater synergy between the outcomes of the G20 Summit held under India’s Presidency and the forthcoming G7 Summit and deliberate on issues which are crucial for the Global South. I am also looking forward to meeting other leaders participating in the summit,” he added.

India hosted the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, which was also attended by the world leaders gathering at the Apulia meet being held under the Italian presidency. The Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloni, will welcome Modi as the President of the Council of Ministers of Italy on Friday.

In her opening address on Thursday at the meeting of the G7 leaders - US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel - she said southern Italy was chosen as the venue to send 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,” Meloni said.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is set to dominate the agenda as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived for the discussions on Thursday. While India has reiterated its stance on “dialogue and diplomacy” as the best approach, Sunak is leading calls for “decisive” efforts to support Ukraine “whatever it takes”.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the G7 Summit.

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Published 14 June 2024, 04:05 IST

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