Modi to attend G7 summit during tri-nation trip; world leaders reach Japan

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched down in Hiroshima, Japan today at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio for the G7 Summit under the Japanese presidency and the Quad summit that will be attended by US President Joe Biden and Australian PM Anthony Albanese as well.

PM Narendra Modi (left) being greeted by a Japanese delegation on his arrival at Hiroshima. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@narendramodi

Modi will speak at G7 sessions with partner countries on subjects such as peace, stability and prosperity of a sustainable planet; food, fertiliser and energy security; health; gender equality; climate change and environment; resilient infrastructure; and development cooperation.

Modi is set to begin a six-day tri-nation visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia with over 40 engagements lined up, officials said, adding he will interact with over two dozen world leaders in summits as well as through bilateral meetings.

Leaders of the G7 member nations have also begun arriving, including United Kingdom’s Indian-origin PM Rishi Sunak, who has announced a mission to push India into showing greater support for Ukraine.

Sunak announced a UK ban on imports of Russian diamonds and Russian-origin copper, nickel and aluminium, with other G7 members expected to follow suit. He also set out sanctions targeting another 86 individuals and firms linked to Vladimir Putin, taking the total UK sanctions list to over 1,500.

The summit, which follows Sunak’s address to the Council of Europe summit in Reykjavik, is a chance for the prime minister to look beyond domestic woes.

“One thing we have to keep doing is talking to countries like India and also Brazil,” Sunak said. 

United Kingdom’s Indian-origin PM Rishi Sunak, who has announced a mission to push India into showing greater support for Ukraine.
United Kingdom’s Indian-origin PM Rishi Sunak, who has announced a mission to push India into showing greater support for Ukraine, arriving in Japan with his wife Akshata Murthy. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RishiSunak

“One of my three things is talking to countries around the world and making sure they realise what is going on, the war crimes Russia is committing inside Ukraine and why everyone should support bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” he added. 

Before arriving in Hiroshima along with his wife, Akshata Murthy, who is on her first official No 10 trip, Sunak said he hoped to stress the extent of Russian war crimes to leaders from non-G7 nations including Modi and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president.

Sunak and Modi will meet during the summit, but it is not yet confirmed that this will be a formal bilateral meeting.

From Japan, Modi will travel to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea where he will host the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) on May 22 jointly with Prime Minister James Marape.

In the third and final leg of the trip, PM Modi will visit Australia, where he will hold talks with his counterpart Anthony Albanese and address a diaspora event on May 23.

The Quad summit was originally scheduled to be held in Sydney but it will now take place in Hiroshima as Biden postponed his visit to Australia to focus on crucial debt-ceiling talks in Washington.

"There are several deliverables which we are expecting to come out of it and I think all that would be showcased when the four leaders meet in Hiroshima," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a media briefing without elaborating.

Asked whether it will be a regular summit of the Quad at Hiroshima or just a meeting, he said "when the four Quad leaders meet, it is a Quad summit." 

The foreign secretary said India's regular participation at the G7 summits clearly points to increasing recognition that it should be a part of any serious effort to resolve global challenges including those of peace, security and development.

"This is even salient in the context of our ongoing presidency of the G20 and our particular efforts to prioritise the interests and concerns of our fellow members of the global south," he said.

Responding to a question on India's position on the Ukraine conflict, Kwatra referred to Modi's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that it is not an era of war during a bilateral meeting in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September last year.

The foreign secretary said Modi will inaugurate a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima.