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Namaste at G7 Summit: Italian PM Meloni greets world leaders with symbolic gesture

NEW DELHI: In a display of unity and cultural respect, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni exchanged ‘Namaste‘ greetings with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the G7 Summit in Italy. The traditional Indian greeting, symbolizing respect and mutual recognition, was chosen to emphasize solidarity among the world leaders gathered for the summit.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi departed for Italy on his first foreign trip after being re-elected for a third term.He is set to attend the outreach session on Friday and will hold bilateral talks with several world leaders on the sidelines of the summit. Prime Minister Modi stressed on India’s focus areas at the summit, saying, “India will focus on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa, and the Mediterranean at the outreach session.”

PM Modi is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Meloni. He focused the significance of their bilateral relationship, noting, “Prime Minister Meloni’s two visits to India last year were instrumental in infusing momentum and depth in our bilateral agenda. We remain committed to consolidating the India-Italy strategic partnership and bolstering cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the Mediterranean regions.”
The G7, comprising the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, and Japan, is currently presided over by Italy, which is hosting the summit in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in the Apulia region from June 13 to 15. The summit is expected to focus on fostering economic growth, addressing environmental concerns, and enhancing international security, with particular attention to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.
The Italian presidency has emphasized the importance of defending the rules-based international system, saying, “Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide.” Additionally, the G7 will address the Middle East conflict and its global implications.
The G7 expanded to include Russia in 1997, becoming the G8, but Russia’s participation was suspended in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea. In keeping with tradition, Italy, as the host nation, has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America, and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit. Although the European Union is not a member of the G7, it participates in the annual summit.
The summit promises to be a crucial platform for international dialogue, with leaders engaging in discussions aimed at tackling some of the most pressing global challenges.

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