On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with Pope Francis in Vatican City for ahead of the G20 Summit. PM Modi is accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar. The meeting was scheduled only for 20 minutes but went on for an hour, news agency PTI reported.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the Vatican City to meet Pope Francis pic.twitter.com/rWCNxl7mVI
— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2021
“Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India,” said a tweet from PM Modi’s personal account.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 30, 2021
PM Modi and the Pope addressed a broad range of issues directed towards making our planet better such as fighting climate change and eliminating poverty. PM Modi also invited Pope Francis to visit India.
“It may be recalled that the last Papal Visit happened in 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and Pope John Paul II came to India. Now it is during PM Modi’s Prime Ministerial term that the Pope has been invited to visit India,” sources said.
The meeting took place ahead of the delegation-level talks where they are expected to address issues such as COVID-19. PM Modi is on a two-day visit to Rome for the G20 Summit at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
There was no set agenda for the talks with the Pope. “I believe tradition is not to have an agenda when you discuss issues with His Holiness. And I think we respect that. I’m sure the issues that will be covered would cover a range of areas of interests in terms of the general global perspectives and issues that are important to all of us,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said yesterday.
The theme of the G20 meet under the Italian Presidency is focused around ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’ which will address the global economic situation, COVID-19, sustainable development, and climate change. This will be the eighth G20 Summit participated by Prime Minister Modi. Last year’s summit was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was hosted by Saudi Arabia.
On Friday, PM Modi met with the President of European Council Charles Michel and President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. He also met his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi at Palazzo Chigi in Rome. Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan revealed that PM Modi also addressed the turmoil in Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific on Friday.