New NDA government’s tight foreign policy agenda | Latest India News

The new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will have a busy foreign policy agenda in the coming weeks, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveling to Italy this week for the G7 summit and preparations underway for a review of the Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) with the US .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. (File)

Modi will travel to Italy on July 13 to attend a briefing session of the annual G7 summit in the resort of Fasano in Italy’s Puglia region the next day, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

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The visit, which is Modi’s first foreign trip in his third term, will enable him to meet face-to-face with leaders such as US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, who is a special invited guest.

Modi’s visit has not yet been formally announced and citizens said preparations were underway for bilateral meetings with several leaders on the sidelines of the G7 summit, including his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni. Modi, who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that is likely to include Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, is expected to return home late evening on June 14, they said.

The summit, which will be held on June 13-15, will be dominated by the Ukrainian war and the Israel-Hamas conflict. While the summit will include six working sessions on the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa, climate change, migration, and economic security and the Indo-Pacific, an information session with invited countries and international organizations will focus on artificial intelligence, energy, Africa and the Mediterranean.

In addition to India, Italy invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to participate in the information session.

However, Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar are expected to skip the Ukraine peace summit being hosted by Switzerland at Bürgenstock on June 15-16, mainly due to concerns over Russia’s non-inclusion in the meeting, the people said. They said India would likely be represented at the meeting by a senior official.

India and the United States are also preparing for the much-delayed review of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), to be conducted during US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s visit to New Delhi in the third week of June, the people said.

Since the beginning of the year, Sullivan has twice canceled a visit to India to discuss iCET with his Indian counterpart due to the US administration’s focus on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

His visit to New Delhi, expected around June 18, will enable both sides to review work already done on a range of initiatives, including cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and advanced wireless networking, as well as joint development and production of jet engines and ammunition-related technologies.

Last August, the US Congress approved a deal between GE Aerospace and state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics to produce advanced F414 jet engines for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Sullivan’s visit will also be an opportunity for both sides to compare notes on the war in Ukraine and the situation in West Asia, including the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), the public said. The US side could also launch a so-called “murder-for-hire” plot to allegedly assassinate Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, they said.

The Indian government has established a high-level commission of inquiry to investigate the information provided by the US, although its findings have not yet been made public.