Modi meets Pope, discusses climate change, pandemic ahead of G20

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Oct 30, 2021

Narendra Modi extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India

Holds talks with leaders from Italy, EU; attends session on global economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday and discussed issues such as the effects of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic on people and the challenges posed by climate change, according to an official release.

Modi, who is in Rome to attend the G20 Summit on October 30-31, also met his counterparts from Italy, France and the EU and talked about post-pandemic economic recovery, mutual recognition of vaccine certifications, promotion of green energy initiatives and co-operation to boost trade and investments.

The leaders from G20 nations met for the first in-person summit since the pandemic, to discuss the global economy and global health, climate change, and sustainable development.

Ambitious initiatives

Modi’s meeting with the Pope, which was scheduled for 20 minutes, extended for about an hour, a source said.

Also see: PM Modi meets Pope Francis in Vatican

“The Prime Minister briefed the Pope about the ambitious initiatives taken by India in combating climate change as well as India's success in administering one billion Covid-19 vaccination doses. His Holiness appreciated India’s assistance to countries in need during the pandemic,” the release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday stated.

Prime Minster extended an invitation to Pope Francis to visit India at an early date, which was accepted, it added. This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades, the release said.

PM meets Draghi

On Friday, the PM was received by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Rome. The two also held a bilateral discussion.

“Glad to have met PM Mario Draghi in Rome. We talked about ways to strengthen the friendship between India and Italy. There is great potential to further scale up economic linkages, cultural cooperation and for us to work together towards a more environment friendly planet,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.

India-EU cooperation

Modi also met President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. “...the leaders reviewed India-EU cooperation covering political and security relations, trade and investment relations, as well as ‘Roadmap 2025’ adopted at the last India-EU summit... they also discussed developments around climate change, Covid-19 pandemic and contemporary global and regional developments of interest,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said at a press briefing.

Also see: G20 leaders endorse global minimum corporate tax deal

The PM also met members of the Indian diaspora and friends of India from different organisations in Italy.

Published on October 30, 2021
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