Narendra Modi to visit a South Asian country in his first foreign tour in second term

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India May 24, 2019, 02.49 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Reuters )

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PM Modi will have seven foreign visits scheduled in the next seven months, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, France, Russia, Thailand, Brazil and a country in the neighbourhood. 

After taking over as the prime minister in his second term, Narendra Modi's first visit will be a country in the neighbourhood but it will not be in Bhutan. The visit will take place in early June.

During Modi's first tenure as the prime minister, his first visit was to Bhutan in June 2014. 

PM Modi will have seven foreign visits scheduled in the next seven months, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, France, Russia, Thailand, Brazil and a country in the neighbourhood. 

The visits will see him interact with global leaders and see a consolidation of his foreign policy actions and gains from his first term.

June: Kyrgyzstan, Japan

Other than a visit to a South Asian country, June will see two more major visits. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO summit from June 13 to 15 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan which will begin from June 28 to 29.

The SCO includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as well as India and Pakistan. The SCO summit will be the first time PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart  Imran Khan will be under the same roof and the big question will be if they will meet. 

There hasn't been any formal dialogue between India and Pakistan since years now. The last time India took initiative was on December 25 in 2015 when PM Modi landed in Lahore. But, days after India's initiative, Pathankot attack happened which resulted in the breakdown of Indo-Pak ties. 

The SCO summit could also see the first meet between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping since the listing of Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist organisation.

In 2018, Modi-Xi met four times, starting with the famous informal summit in Wuhan, China. The Chinese president will be visiting India this year for the second informal summit. 

G20 summit in Japan will also serve as the first major platform for PM Modi to meet global leaders including a likely meet with US President Donald Trump. 

In 2018, during the G20 meet in Argentina, PM Modi met Donald Trump as part of a trilateral, Japan, America and India (JAI), in which Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was also present. 

Another trilateral, Russia, India, China (RIC) saw the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping along with PM Modi. 

Both the trilaterals are expected to meet this time as well.

August: France

This will be followed by participation of Indian PM at the G7 summit in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France from August 25 to 27. 

India has been invited by France, which is the chair this time, to participate at the G7 summit. During his congratulatory call to PM Modi on Thursday, French President Macron reiterated his invitation to visit France in August for a bilateral meeting and also to attend the G7 Summit at Biarritz.

In 2005, India was present at the G7 summit with participation of the then Indian PM Manmohan Singh.  The G7 group consists of US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan & Italy.

September: Russia

In September, PM Modi is going to Russia to participate in the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the far eastern city of Vladivostok from September 4 to 6. 

PM Modi has spoken to Putin three times in 2019, the first time on January 1 and the second time on January 28 during which the latter extended the invitation for the EEF. On Thursday Putin called Modi third time to congratulate him for his landslide victory in country's 17 Lok Sabha polls.
 
On January 1, a Russian government official readout the first phone conversation between Putin and Modi in which it was stated, "The President of Russia invited the Prime Minister of India to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2019 as the main guest."

During PM Modi's second term he might also go for the United Nations General Assembly in New York that starts on September 17 and ends on September 30. 

November: Thailand, Brazil

November will see PM Modi going to Bangkok for the East Asia Summit which takes place on third of that month followed by BRICS summit in Brazil from 11-13 November.

Four leaders, Japan's PM Shinzo Abe, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin and  Xi Jinping are scheduled to visit India.