Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold bilateral meetings with the top leadership of eight countries, including Britain, Japan and Canada, and also participate in a BRICS leaders meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, a senior official said on Thursday.
The comments came after China said there will be no meeting at Hamburg between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Indian leader in the wake of a stand-off between the troops of both sides in Doklam area in the Sikkim sector.
“The Prime Minister is visiting Hamburg from July 6 to 8 for G20 Summit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in response to a query.
“His pre-planned bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Summit are with Argentina, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, ROK (South Korea), the UK and Vietnam.
“In addition, he will also participate in the BRICS Leaders’ meeting. There is no change in the Prime Minister’s schedule,” he added.
Earlier, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said President Xi and Prime Minister Modi were unlikely to meet on the sidelines of the summit as “the atmosphere is not right” due to their border stand-off.
While the Indian Foreign Ministry has not indicated whether Modi and Xi will hold a bilateral meeting, there is every likelihood of their meeting, even in passing, during the five-nation Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa leaders’ meeting, which is traditionally held on the sidelines of a G20 summit.
Modi and Xi will be in the same room and sitting around the same table at the BRICS leaders meeting, a close group meeting during which leaders of the five countries set the agenda for the way forward.
While the cold vibes between the two sides are in full display over the Doklam stand-off, with China markedly ratcheting up the rhetoric — both in Beijing and their embassy in New Delhi — a meeting between the two leaders would help bring down temperatures.
Even as bilateral tensions are at a high, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is in Beijing to participate in a BRICS Education Ministers meet. He held “good discussions” with his Chinese counterpart Chen Baosheng and also met “with an old friend” Chinese Special Envoy on climate change Xie Zhenhua, the Indian Embassy in Beijing tweeted.