Indian PM Modi to visit Italy and UK next week

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Oct 23, 2021, 06:40 PM(IST)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation. Photograph:( PTI )

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PM Modi will leave Rome on October 31 for Glasgow and he will address the meet on November 01. He is also expected to hold in person talks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, something both sides were waiting for

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Italian Capital Rome and United Kingdom's Glasgow next week for two crucial summits — the G20 summit and the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26).

He will be leaving for Rome on October 28 and will be in the city for the 16th G20 leaders' summit that takes place on October 30-31. It will naturally be an occasion for number of bilateral on the sidelines of the annual meet of the 20 most powerful economies.

The key priorities under Italian presidency will be on dealing with the Covid crisis and its economic impact. Last year, the summit took place virtually under the Saudi Presidency due to the Covid pandemic. That was the first time the summit happened virtually in more than a decade since its formation.

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However, there will be few notable absentees who won't be present in person at the summit. The ones who won't be able to attend the summit in-person are Russian president Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan's new PM Fumio Kishida, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. While the Japanese PM and President Cyril Ramaphosa will be busy with elections during those dates, the Russian President had to skip the summit due to covid crisis at home.

Absence of Japanese, Russian and Chinese leaders means no in-person trilaterals such as JAI (Japan, America, India) or RIC (Russia, India, China) will happen. It had traditionally become a part of key meets on the sidelines of the G20 meetings.

Climate change will be another key focus at the G20 summit, which comes ahead of the crucial Glasgow climate summit from October 31 to November 12.

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PM Modi will leave Rome on October 31 for Glasgow and he will address the meet on November 01. He is also expected to hold in person talks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, something both sides were waiting for. This comes a little after the UK PM was invited to be the chief guest at India's republic day parade earlier this year, which was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Later, PM Modi was scheduled to visit G7 leaders meet as special guest which also met the same fate.

Ahead of his UK visit, British foreign secretary Liz Truss is in India and on Friday held talks with her counterpart external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar. At the meeting, on Friday with EAM, FS Liz said, "There is so much more we can do in areas like sharing our expertise on the environment ahead of the COP26 summit, we are delighted the Prime Minister will be there."

Her visit coincides with the visit of UK chief of staff General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of Naval Staff of UK Admiral Tony Radakin (First Sea Lord).  

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Meanwhile, Maiden India – UK Joint Tri-Service exercise Konkan Shakti are also underway from October 21 to 27. The harbor phase happened in Mumbai from October 21-23, the sea phase from 24th to 27th, land phase in Chaubatia with air tactical operations involving F35s and MiG 26Ks.

New Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba will also be in Glasgow, and a bilateral cant be ruled out with Indian PM. PM Modi will be back in the country on 3rd. This will be his third foreign visit amid the Covid pandemic. This year he has been to Bangladesh in March and US in September. Before pandemic hit, his last visit was in November 2019.

Next will also see key Asean summits and meetings, including the East Asia summit. The meetings are taking place virtually and India will be present in the meetings. Brunei is the host of ASEAN this year. PM was also invited for the Saudi Green Initiative and Middle east green initiative by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. The Saudi summits are taking place in Riyadh from October 23-25, with India's environment minister representing the country in many of the meetings.

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