New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (October 30) will call on Pope Francis at the Vatican City on the second day of his Italy and UK trip.
Ahead of delegation-level talks where the duo can discuss a range of issues, the PM will pay a courtesy call to the Pope. “The Prime Minister will have a separate call. He will be meeting his Holiness on a one-on-one basis. And that could, after a certain period of time, be followed up by delegation-level talks,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Friday (October 29) laying out the itinerary of the PM’s visit.
Shringla said no agenda has been laid out for the talks. “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,” he said.
The Foreign Secretary added, “COVID-19, health issues, how we can work together…And this is something that, I think would be the general trend in the discussions.”
After meeting the Pope, PM Modi will depart to attend the 16th G20 summit where a host of issues including global economic situation, COVID-19 pandemic, sustainable development and climate change will be discussed. “The PM will join other G20 leaders in discussions on global economic and health recovery from the pandemic, sustainable development and climate change among other issues,” ANI quoted Shringla as saying.
Following the G20 summit, PM Modi will participate in bilateral meetings with President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and Singapore counterpart Lee Hosein Loong.
On day 1 of his visit to Italy, after reaching Rome on Friday he had met presidents of European Council and European Commission. Modi also paid floral tribute at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi and interacted with the Indian diaspora. Later in the day, PM Modi held bilateral talks with Italian counterpart Mario Draghi.
(With agency inputs)