PM Modi Invited To G7 Summit Despite India Not Being Part of Supergroup

PM Narendra Modi arriving in Biarritz for the G7 Summit. Courtesy: MEA/Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the G7 Summit in France on Monday. Although India is not a member of the G7 group, PM Modi would be attending the G7 Summit as a special guest as he has been personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. The countries that are part of the G7 include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that the invitation was a “reflection of the personal chemistry” between the two leaders and also “recognition of India as a major economic power”. PM Modi arrived Biarritz on Sunday where the G7 Summit is taking place.

PM Modi held a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He is also expected to hold meetings with United States President Donald Trump.

Apart from the bilateral issues and trade, the meeting between Donald Trump and PM Modi may also focus Kashmir and the removal of certain provisions of Article 370 in the Indian Constitution.

PM Modi also met United Kingdom PM Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the summit. PM Modi began the talks by congratulating PM Boris Johnson on England’s win in the Third Test of the Ashes. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen India-UK cooperation.

The two leaders spoke on phone earlier this week and agreed on the importance of working together to further strengthen the bilateral partnership, particularly through trade and economic relations.

US President Trump, who PM Modi will be meeting Monday afternoon, has been repeatedly offering to mediate on the issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan but just ahead of the Summit-level meeting, a senior US administration official said that Kashmir was a “bilateral” issue.

“India’s decision to rescind Article 370 in Kashmir is an internal decision, but certainly with regional implications. And President Trump will likely want to hear how Prime Minister Modi intends to calm regional tensions in light of this significant move,” said the official.

Speaking on the issue of reducing restrictions imposed in the Valley and the issue of terrorism, the official said, “Donald Trump is likely to stress the need for dialogue among all sides of the conflict and his hope that India would lift the communications and movement restrictions in Kashmir and exercise the utmost restraint in dealing with potential protests. And certainly, President Trump is also calling on Pakistan to prevent the infiltration of militants across the LoC that divides Kashmir and to crack down on groups on its territory that have attacked India in the past.”

According to the official, “President Trump is very much looking forward to his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi, where they will discuss the strategic partnership and how they can cooperate more closely on issues like defense cooperation, counterterrorism, and trade.”

The focus of the US administration has been to find ways for India to reduce tariffs and open its markets.

PM Modi is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with Chile and Senegal, who are also special invitees to the G7 Summit.

PM Modi would attend two sessions at the G7 Summit. The morning session on Biodiversity, Climate and Oceans and the afternoon session on Digital Transformation.

As the special guest of the French president, the two leaders will spend time on Monday morning as the bilateral meeting between India and France already took place on Thursday (August 22). PM Modi’s morning walk with French President Emmanual Macron at Hotel Du Palace is scheduled around 9:30 am.