Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at Hyderabad House in Delhi on Thursday. They will meet bilaterally 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,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, tweeted about it. The Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue 2023 is Prime Minister Meloni.
“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.
On Thursday morning, Meloni paid her respects to Mahatma Gandhi by laying floral tributes at his memorial, Rajghat. PM Modi greeted her on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan with a ceremonial welcome fit for an Italian premier.
PM Meloni is making his first trip to India. According to the MEA spokesperson, the visit is tipped further strengthen and deepen the long-standing relationship between India and Italy. The Raisina Dialogue, an annual multilateral conference held in New Delhi, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The event will be held from March 2-4 by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). In 1947, India and Italy established diplomatic relations. In March 2018, India and Italy celebrated 70 years of diplomatic ties.
Both countries have exchanged visits at the political and official levels on a regular basis. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited India in October 2018 and signed agreements, including a mutual agreement to combat terrorist financing and state sponsors of terrorism.
Furthermore, both countries interact on a regular basis through an institutionalized Senior Officials’ Dialogue (Foreign Office Consultations), the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, and the India-Italy Technology Summit.
Italy also expressed its support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group and emphasized Rome’s support for India’s membership in global technology export groups.
With a bilateral trade of USD 8.79 billion in 2016-17, Italy is India’s fifth largest trading partner in the EU. India’s exports to Italy totaled USD 4.90 billion, while imports totaled USD 3.89 billion, resulting in a USD 1 billion trade surplus in India’s favor.