After Thumping Poll Victory, PM Narendra Modi Set to Make First Foreign Visit in June
On June 13, Modi will head to the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he will be face-to-face with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for the first time.
PM Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign as he arrives at the party headquarters to celebrate the party's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in New Delhi. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: After winning a massive mandate in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Narendra Modi in his second tenure as Prime Minister, will be making his first official foreign tour in June. According to sources, an official tour is on the cards and the visit would be to a country in the neighbourhood. During his first term as Prime Minister, his first official foreign tour was to Bhutan, thus removing the Himalayan kingdom from the list of South Asian countries that he could be visiting this time around.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, on Thursday, rode to victory with a massive mandate—bigger than the one they had received five years ago. Agreements and decisions made during his last term as PM will ensure that Modi keeps busy for the first six to seven months when it comes to foreign visits.
While the country of his first official visit is yet to be decided, there are already certain engagements that Modi has in place. On June 13, Modi will head to the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The SCO meet is significant as it marks the first time since Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan would be face-to-face.
Earlier this month, External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the meeting of foreign minister of the SCO, where she was seen with her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Sources confirmed that the two only exchanged pleasantries but there were strictly no talks. Whether Modi would engage in talks with Imran Khan, who took to Twitter to congratulate the newly elected PM, is to be seen. It’s been four years since India and Pakistan engaged in formal dialogue.
The SCO meet will also be attended by China. While Modi and Xi have met four times last year, this meet will be the first after the blacklisting of Masood Azhar. While there is no official confirmation on whether the two leaders will have a bilateral meeting, last year, Modi and Xi did hold talks on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Qingdao.
Almost two weeks later, Modi is set to attend the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan that is slated to begin from June 28. The Summit is yet another opportunity for the newly elected PM to engage with other world leaders. Last year, he held two trilateral meetings— one with US President Donald Trump and Japanese PM Abe Shinzo and the other one with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.
Cut to August, Modi will travel to France for the G7 Summit. France is the chair of the Summit this time, which was last attended by an India delegation in 2005. The invite for the summit was reiterated by French President Emmanuel Macron during his congratulatory call to Modi on Thursday. In September, Modi will travel to Vladivostok in Russia for the Easter Economic Forum. Putin, too, made a congratulatory call to Modi after his victory on Thursday.
Later this year, in November, the PM will attend the BRICS Summit in Brazil and the East Asia Summit in Thailand. Last year at the East Asia Summit in Singapore, Modi had emphasised the need for a balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement between ASEAN countries and countries like Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
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