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Modi to reiterate India’s stance on Ukraine at G7 summit

The Indian prime minister is en route to Italy, on his first foreign trip since being re-elected

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Italy on Thursday on his first foreign trip since returning to office for a third term. He will be attending the G7 summit, to which India has been invited as an Outreach Country. 

At the gathering in Apulia, the premier will reiterate his position on Ukraine – that the “best option” to resolve the conflict is through “dialogue and diplomacy,” officials have said.

While in Italy, Modi is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and other G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden. 

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed that Biden “expects to see PM Modi in Italy and the two leaders will have the opportunity to encounter each other.” 

The Indian leader will also meet with Pope Francis on the sidelines of the gathering, according to the Vatican.

In a statement ahead of the trip, Modi noted that Georgia Meloni paid two visits to India last year that were “instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda.” Italy is India’s fourth largest economic partner in the European Union, with bilateral trade currently standing at $15 billion, according to New Delhi.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Wednesday told the media that India’s regular participation at the G7 Summit points to an increasing recognition of the country’s efforts to resolve global challenges, including security, economic development, and environmental preservation.

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International Cooperation Forum organized by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Basel, Switzerland, April 12, 2024.
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“India’s participation at this G7 Summit acquires particular salience in context of India’s recently held, not so recent, presidency of the G20, where India took a leading role in building global consensus on a number of contentious issues,” he noted.

When asked about India’s likely contribution to summit discussions on the Ukraine crisis, Kwatra stated: “We have always been in the forefront to talk about not just the conflict, the need for dialogue and diplomacy but also the way the conflict is impacting on the priorities and interests of the developing countries.” 

He reiterated that India considers diplomacy as crucial to resolving the crisis. “You would recall Prime Minister’s own statement on this that today is not an era of war, which found widespread appreciation and recognition,” he added.

However, Kwatra declined to provide details on who will represent New Delhi at an upcoming Swiss-hosted conference on Ukraine.

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