PM Modi arrives in Germany for summit of the G-7—a rich man’s club that is seeking India’s support


Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Munich to participate in the G-7 Summit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Munich for a crucial summit of the G-7, which seeks to re-invent itself at a time when relationship of the West with Russia has dived to a new low following the war in Ukraine. 

On arrival in Munich, PM Modi tweeted that he looked forward to  “fruitful discussion” with world leaders during the summit.

Ahead of his visit, PM Modi said he would head for Schloss Elmau, for the summit. He added that he would meet the host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Presidency. The two had earlier met last month during the course of the India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).

Modi said that Germany has also invited other democracies such as Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa to the G7 Summit, in order to strengthen international collaboration on important global issues impacting humanity.

The big picture dialogue in Germany is taking place at a time of an intense geopolitical rivalry between the Western alliance and Russia and China, with the Ukraine war as the inflexion point. Some western academics have been arguing the need to strengthen the G-7 framework to counter the G-20 and BRICS which has Russia and China as core members.

Committed to the principle of Strategic Autonomy and inclusivity, India is unlikely to become a camp follower of either the West or the East. Speaking at a forum in Bratislava earlier this month External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar had stressed that India would not accept any “construct” based on choosing between a Western camp and a Russia-China camp.

"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. 

Ahead of the summit, a Chatham House report pointed out that  in June last year, the G7 Leaders' Summit had announced the Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative. The strategic initiative, focusing on infrastructure development, was meant to  help build resilience in  developing countries, in the face of the Covid-19 recovery and China’s growing economic and political influence in the developing world.

“Prioritizing high-quality, sustainable human and physical infrastructure that incorporates green principles promises a viable alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for recipient nations,” the report said.

In his pre-arrival statement PM Modi said that he would discuss problems related to the environment, energy, climate, food security, health, counter-terrorism, gender equality and democracy, with the G-7 and its partner countries.

The Prime Minister added that during his stay, he would meet members of the Indian Diaspora from across Europe.

He pointed at that during the return leg of his visit on Tuesday, he would make a brief stopover in Abu Dhabi, and meet the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to personally condole the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

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