By: ATEET SHARMA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be leaving for Germany tonight to attend the Group of Seven (G7) Summit beginning in Schloss Elmau, near Munich in Bavaria from tomorrow.
PM Modi has been invited to the June 26-27 event by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who holds the G7 Presidency currently.
The summit gathers leaders from the European Union and Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In an effort to strengthen international collaboration on important issues - or as Chancellor Scholz said "to recognize the democracies of the global south as partners" - other nations such as Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa have also been invited.
During the visit, the Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings and discussions with the leaders of the G7 as also the guest countries on the side-lines of the Summit. He is also scheduled to have an interaction with the Indian diaspora at a community event during his stay in Germany.
Prime Minister Modi's last visit to Germany was for the 6th Intergovernmental consultations held in Berlin on May 2, the first one he co-chaired with the new German Chancellor.
The invitation to the G7 Summit is in keeping with the tradition of strong and close partnership and high-level political contacts between India and Germany. His visit is expected to give a major push to strengthen political and economic ties with the seven of the world's advanced economies.
"India's regular participation at the G7 Summits clearly points to increasing acceptance and recognition that India needs to be a part of any and every sustained effort to find solution to solve the challenges, global challenges in particular which are being faced by the world," said Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra before the PM's departure.
Kwatra mentioned that the G7 Summit has chosen five key priorities for the current year - Energy transition, Economic recovery and transformation, Pandemic prevention and control, Sustainable investments and infrastructure and Promotion of shared values of democracy.
On June 27, PM Modi is scheduled to participate in two sessions along with other partner countries of the G7 Summit - one relating to climate, energy and health and the second on food security and gender equality.
The Foreign Secretary said that it is "quite possible" that on the sideline conversations with other leaders of the G7 and the outreach countries, that the situation in the region will come up for discussions.
He highlighted that the key significance of the Prime Minister's continuous engagement with the leadership of the global world - whether it's at QUAD, G7, BRICS, or the G20 - is the mitigation of challenges being faced by the world right now which are global in nature.
"India's presence, India's participation, India's role, India's responsibility, India's involvement is absolutely essential to find those solutions to the global problems," said Kwatra.
After attending the G7 Summit, PM Modi will be travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 28 to pay his personal condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former UAE President and Abu Dhabi ruler.
The PM will also take the opportunity to congratulate Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his election as the new President of UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
The Indian PM last visited UAE in August 2019 while Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's last visit to India - as then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi - took place in January 2017 when he was also the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations.
The Foreign Secretary said that it is "common knowledge" that both the leaders, that is the present President of the UAE and the Prime Minister of India, have very regularly and continuously nurtured the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE over the past few years.
During the virtual summit in February this year, both countries also signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which has since entered into force and the first consignments under that CEPA agreement have started flowing from India to UAE and vice versa.
"We are all aware that India and UAE share very close and friendly relations, whose foundations lay in our historical people to people contacts. Our vision for bilateral relations includes partnership in diverse areas, including trade, investment, energy, particularly renewable energy, food security, health, defence, skill development, education and culture," he stated.