- The Prime Minister invited the Pope to India
- Modi said it was a warm discussion
- Foreign Minister at the Vatican
This is the first meeting of an Indian Prime Minister with the Pope in two decades, the Foreign Ministry said. The Prime Minister and the Pope discussed a number of issues, including the Covid pandemic and climate change. The foreign ministry said in a statement that the pope had told the prime minister that India had supported the rest of the world during the Covid crisis and that the Vatican had praised India.
The two leaders had planned to talk for about 20 minutes, but the discussion lasted about an hour, news agency PTI reported. The Prime Minister was accompanied by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jayasankar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that the meeting with the Pope was excellent. “I had a warm meeting with Pope Francis, discussed many issues with him and invited him to India.” The Prime Minister tweeted from his personal Twitter account. Various agencies have also released pictures of the Pope embracing Prime Minister Modi.
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NDTV quoted sources as saying that the two leaders discussed issues including poverty alleviation and climate change and how to further improve the earth. The last meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the Pope was when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister. Pope John Paul II was then pope.
During the meeting between the two, the Covid 19 Pandemic was also discussed, sources said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Rome for the G20 summit and met the Pope in person. The Prime Minister arrived in Italy at the invitation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The Prime Minister will also hold talks with leaders of various European Union countries during these days.
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Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said talks with the pope did not have a specific agenda. “I believe it is a tradition that there is no agenda for discussion with the Pope. That is what we respect. I am sure the two leaders will discuss things that are good for all of us globally.” The foreign secretary said this yesterday.
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