India: PM Modi to travel to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia in May

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia in May. The power-packed visit will start with the G7 summit in Japan’s Hiroshima, where PM Modi will represent India from May 20 to 21. 

The formal invitation for the summit will be extended by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when he visits Delhi later this month. India has been consecutively invited or considered for an invite to the G7 summit since 2019, and this will be Indian PM Modi’s fifth such invitation. 

French President Macron extended the invitation in 2019 for the Biarritz summit. In 2020, former United States president Donald Trump was keen to invite India, but the summit could not happen due to the coronavirus crisis. 

In 2021, the then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson invited India to the G7 summit, but PM Modi could not travel because of the second wave of the Covid pandemic. Last year, PM Modi was in Germany to attend the summit in Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps. 

After Japan, the prime minister will travel to Papua New Guinea for Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation summit (India Pacific summit) on May 22. The forum brings together 14 Pacific Islands — 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 first summit happened in Fiji’s Suva in 2014, followed by the second summit in Jaipur in 2015. The summit is seen as wider cooperation between India and the Pacific island where India has been involved in development cooperation. 

This is the first-ever visit of PM Modi to the country which is the second largest country in the Oceania region after Australia. India has been assisting the country. The Indian High Commissioner handed over a consignment of 7.2 million doses of anti-retroviral drugs to the government of PNG in November 2016. 

Furthermore, in a gesture of solidarity, the Indian government announced in 2018 that it would extend a grant of $1 million to PNG. This grant was specifically meant for earthquake relief in areas that were affected by the earthquake that struck the nation in February 2018. 

The PM will conclude his three-nation visit in Australia where he will attend the Quad summit from May 23 to 24 in Sydney. 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. 

At the press statements in Delhi, PM Modi said, “I thank Prime Minister Albanese for inviting me to the Quad Leaders’ Summit which is going to happen in May this year.” PM Modi took part in the Quad Leaders virtual meeting in March 2022, the in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo in May 2022 and in Washington in 2021. 

The Quad’s expansion continued to gain momentum as the four countries announced a series of initiatives aimed at addressing critical challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region. With a focus on climate change and disaster resilience, the Quad Climate Change Action and Mitigation Package promised to strengthen efforts towards green shipping, clean energy, and climate-resilient infrastructure. This move signals a collective commitment by the four countries to combat the adverse effects of climate change in the region and beyond. 

In addition to climate-related initiatives, the Quad also launched a Common Statement of Principles on Critical Technology Supply Chains, highlighting the importance of building secure and resilient technology infrastructure in the region. These initiatives are expected to have a far-reaching impact on the Indo-Pacific. 


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