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Watch: Prime Minister Modi arrives in Papua New Guinea to a rousing welcome

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Papua New Guinea (Photo: MEA/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Sunday for the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit. The summit was launched during PM Modi’s visit to Fiji in 2014.

He was given a rare and a surprise welcome as Prime Minister James Marape touched PM Modi’s feet on arrival to the Pacific Island nation.

This is Modi’s first tour to PNG. A traditional folk dance performance was also staged outside the airport as part of the welcome.

Upon arrival, Modi tweeted: “Reached Papua New Guinea. I am thankful to PM James Marape for coming to the airport and welcoming me. This is a very special gesture which I will always remember. I look forward to boosting India’s ties with this great nation during my visit”.

PM Modi will co-chair the third summit of FIPIC on Monday which brings together the leaders of 14 countries. He will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of the important geo-strategic region that has seen China make big gains in some of the island nations.

Aridam Bagchi, the Ministry of External affairs spokesperson tweeted that this is the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to PNG.

The Prime Minister arrived in the island nation from Japan, where he attended the G7 and the Quad summits at Hiroshima. From PNG, he will fly to Australia for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and wrap up his six-day, three nation visit.

Also read: Why is Modi’s May visit to Pacific Islands strategic for the region?