New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Italian PM Giorgia Meloni at Hyderabad House in Delhi on Thursday. He is to hold a bilateral meeting in the national capital.

“PM @narendramodi greets PM @GiorgiaMeloni of Italy before commencing bilateral talks at Hyderabad House. An expansive agenda covering political, trade & economic, defense, science & technology, energy, health, consular and cultural spheres awaits,” tweeted the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

PM Meloni is the Chief Guest & Keynote Speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue 2023.

“Talks between PM @narendramodi and PM @GiorgiaMeloni commence. Leaders will exchange views on taking the multifaceted bilateral ties forward with a mutual commitment to foster growth, widen collaboration in various fields and deepen convergences on regional & global issues,” tweeted Bagchi.

Earlier, Meloni paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on Thursday morning by offering floral tributes at Rajghat.

Prime Minister Modi accorded a ceremonial welcome to the Prime Minister of Italy in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. This is PM Meloni’s first visit to India. According to the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, the visit is expected to further strengthen and deepen the long-standing relations between India and Italy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi. The Ministry of External Affairs is organizing the event in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) from March 2-4.

Political relations between India and Italy were established in 1947. India and Italy completed 70 years of diplomatic relations in March 2018. There has been a regular exchange of visits at the political and official levels between the two countries. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited India in October 2018 and signed agreements including a mutual agreement to combat the financing of terrorism and state sponsors of terrorism.

Also, both countries regularly interact through an institutionalized Senior Officials’ Dialogue (Foreign Office Consultations), and the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation and India- Italy Technology Summit. Italy also indicated its support for India’s quest for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and underlined Rome’s support for India’s membership in global technology export groupings.

Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in the European Union with bilateral trade at USD 8.79 billion in 2016-17.

India’s exports to Italy were US$ 4.90 billion, while its imports were US$ 3.89 billion, resulting in a trade imbalance of about US$ 1 billion in favor of India.

By Archana

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