Vatican City: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Rome, Italy on Saturday to meet Pope Francis for the very first time, ahead of his scheduled participation at the G20 Summit for which he was invited at the behest of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. He is accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar.
In the one and a half-hour meeting, PM Modi and the Pope discussed a wide range of topics ranging from politics to the current Covid-19 pandemic. This is the first time Narendra Modi has met the head of the Vatican and the first time since 2013 that an Indian Prime Minister has called on the Vatican. The Prime Minister has also extended an invitation to the Pope to visit India.
"I am sure the issues would cover a range of areas of interest in terms of the general global perspectives and issues that are important to all of us, COVID-19, health issues, how we can work together to maintain peace and tranquillity and this is something that, I think would be the general trend in the discussions," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said at a press conference yesterday.
Members of the Indian diaspora in Italy, as well as delegates from different countries, interact with the Prime Minister in Rome on Saturday. PM Modi will next be seen at the COP26 meeting in Britain where he has been invited by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.