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PM Modi to meet Pope Francis in Vatican during G20 summit in Italy, says FS Shringla

The Prime Minister will be travelling to Rome and Glasgow from 29 October to 2 November to attend the 16th G20 Summit and the World Leaders' Summit of COP-26 respectively.

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New Delhi: The upcoming G20 summit in Italy is expected to come out with a “very concrete outcome” in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and similar challenges in the future besides deliberating on a global health architecture, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Thursday.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Rome to attend the summit, Shringla also said that the G20 remains a valuable forum for India’s engagement with major economies in the world and for setting the trends and norms for global economic development and recovery.

At a media briefing, Shringla said India will continue to be a voice of common citizens of the developing countries and emerging market economies in the G20.

Modi will be travelling to Rome and Glasgow from October 29 to November 2 to attend the 16th G20 Summit and the World Leaders’ Summit of COP-26 respectively.

Shringla said the prime minister will call on Pope Francis in the Vatican City and will hold a series of bilateral meetings that could include talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He said the G20 will focus on the management of the current pandemic and future pandemics that may arise as well as on the overall global health architecture.

“The G20 is going to come out with very concrete outcome on this. There is suggestion to create a mechanism to cater to the future requirements,” the foreign secretary said.

“There is some fairly intensive discussions on the sort of architecture that the G20 could create that could supplement international cooperation and collaboration in dealing with future pandemics,” he said.

On the origins of COVID-19, Shringla said it has been a subject of a fair amount of discussion at the global level.

Referring to COP-26, he said India was looking forward to objective discussions and a balanced outcome from it.

The prime minister will be participating in the G20 Summit in Rome from October 30-31 at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Italy has been holding the presidency of the G20 since December last year.

The G20 is a leading global forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of the global GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet.

The forum has met every year since 1999 and includes, since 2008, a yearly summit, with the participation of the respective heads of state and government.

The Rome summit will be attended by heads of state and government of G20 member countries, the European Union, and other invited countries and several international organisations.

The summit will be centred around the theme ‘People, Planet, Prosperity, focussing on the areas of recovery from the pandemic and strengthening of global health governance.

From Rome, Modi will travel to Glasgow to attend the World Leader’s summit of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP-26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The COP-26 is being held from October 31 to November 12 under the presidency of the UK which is partnering with Italy for the event.

The COP-26 summit is being billed as one of the biggest ever congregations of world leaders and experts in combating climate change.

Also read: India-Bangladesh relations ‘role model’ for ties between neighbouring countries, Shringla says


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