Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome on Friday (All images courtesy: Twitter/@NarendraModi)
On a busy first day of his visit to Rome for the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held back-to-back meetings with his Italian counterpart, President of the European Council, President of the European Commission besides also meeting members of the Indian diaspora on Friday.
PM Modi was received by senior officials of the Italian government and the Indian ambassador in the country as he landed in Rome in the early hours of Friday.
He began his bilateral meetings soon after, holding a joint meeting with Charles Michel, the President of the European Council and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
PM Modi and Presidents of EU recalled their productive virtual engagements in form of India-EU Leaders' meeting in form of EU+27 in May 2021 and 15th India EU Summit in July, 2020.
During the meeting, leaders of India and EU reviewed India-EU cooperation covering political and security relations, trade and investment and economic cooperation as well as the Roadmap2025 agreed at the last India-EU Summit.
They also discussed climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and contemporary global and regional developments of interest to both sides.
EU leaders also congratulated India for its excellent progress on vaccination.
In the afternoon, the Prime Minister paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Piazza Gandhi in the city of Rome.
After paying tribute, he also greeted the members of Indian diaspora who were present there in large numbers.
PM Modi interacted with the community members from various organisations including the representatives of Italian Hindu Union-Sanatana Dharma Samgha and lauded the role played by them in propagating Indian culture in Italy.
Also present at the venue were the representatives of Italian Congregation for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). PM Modi appreciated their contribution in several social activities including spreading the message of Bhagavad Gita in Italy.
The PM then interacted with members of the Sikh community and institutions involved in the commemoration of Indian soldiers who fought in Italy in World War I and World War II. He paid tributes to the valour shown by Indian soldiers in these wars.
Several Indologists and Sanskrit experts from Italian universities also met PM Modi who noted their interest in Indian culture, literature and practice of yoga and ayurveda and lauded the role played by them in strengthening the ties between India and Italy.
Following the interactions, PM Modi met the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, their first in-person meeting. The two leaders discussed the challenges posed by climate change, and the need for the international community to work together. Prime Minister Modi highlighted the transformative climate actions undertaken by India, and the concerns of developing countries about climate financing commitments of the developed world.
The two leaders also exchanged views on recent global and regional developments, including in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific. They reiterated their desire for working closer together for furthering the India-EU multifaceted cooperation.
They reiterated their commitment to further expanding trade and investment linkages between the two countries particularly in textiles, food processing, automotive and renewable energy sectors.
Announcing a 'Strategic Partnership on Energy Transition', both India and Italy decided to provide fresh impetus to the bilateral cooperation in renewables and clean energy.
The two leaders agreed to bond close in areas such as large size green corridor projects, smart grids, energy storage solutions, gas transportation, integrated waste management (waste-to-wealth), development and deployment of green hydrogen and promotion of biofuels.
Today, the Prime Minister will pay a call on Pope Francis at the Vatican City and thereafter attend the G20 sessions where he will also hold more bilateral meetings.