New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a packed schedule ahead as he will travel to Japan, Papua New Guinea, and Australia in May. The visit will start with the G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima, where PM Modi will represent India from May 20 to May 2. The formal invitation for the summit will be extended by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his visit to Delhi later this month.
India has been consecutively invited or considered for an invite to the G7 summit since 2019, and this will be the Indian PM’s fifth such invitation. French President Macron extended the invitation in 2019 for the Biarritz Summit. In 2020, then US President Donald Trump was keen to invite India but the Summit could not take place due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the then UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also invited India to the G7 summit, but PM Modi could not travel because of the second wave of coronavirus. Last year, PM Modi was in Germany to attend the Summit in Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps.
After Japan, PM Modi to visit Papua New Guinea
After his visit to Japan, Modi will travel to Papua New Guinea for the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation Summit (India-Pacific Summit).
The first summit took place in Fiji’s Suva in 2014, followed by the second summit in Jaipur in India in 2015.
The forum brings together as many as 14 Pacific Islands namely Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu with India at the head of state/government level.
The Summit is seen as wider cooperation between India and the Pacific island where India has been involved in development cooperation.
This will be the first-ever visit of PM Modi to the country, which is the second largest country in the Oceania region after Australia.
It is notable that New Delhi has been assisting the country for a long time now.
In 2016, the Indian High Commissioner handed over a consignment of 7.2 million doses of anti-retroviral drugs to the Government of PNG.
India also provided computers and peripherals worth US $760,000 to the Government of PNG during the 2017-18 period. This aid was provided under India’s Regional Assistance to Pacific Island Countries.
The grant-in-aid is a clear indication of India’s commitment to strengthening its ties with PNG and other Pacific Island countries.
In 2018 as well, in a gesture of solidarity, the Narendra Modi-led government announced that it would extend a grant of US $1 million to PNG. This grant was specifically meant for relief and rescue operations in areas that were affected by the earthquake that struck the nation in February 2018.
PM Modi to attend Quad Summit in Australia
PM Narendra Modi will then conclude his three-nation visit in Australia, where he is scheduled to attend the Quad Summit from May 23 to May 24.
During the visit of Australian PM Anthony Albanese to India earlier this month, he formally extended the invite to PM Modi to attend the Summit.
Prime Minister Modi had earlier taken part in the Quad Leaders Summit in Japan in May 2022 and in the US in 2021.
He also attended the Quad Leaders’ virtual meeting in March 2022.
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD), which is commonly known as the Quad, is a strategic security dialogue between India, Australia, Japan, and the US.
The Quad’s expansion has continued to gain momentum as the four countries have announced a series of initiatives aimed at addressing critical challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region.