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PM Narendra Modi meets Pope Francis at Vatican City, discusses poverty alleviation, climate crisis

This was the first-ever one-to-one meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church. 

PM Narendra Modi meets Pope Francis at Vatican City, discusses poverty alleviation, climate crisis

Rome (Italy): Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to meet Francis since he became the Pope in 2013. On Saturday (October 30), Modi called on the Pope at the Vatican - a city-state surrounded by Rome and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church - and discussed with him issues covering a range of areas of interest, including COVID-19, general global perspectives, fighting poverty and making the planet a better place. It is the first-ever one-to-one meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church. 

At the Vatican, Modi was accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The Prime Minister also met Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican City State. Check the pictures here:

 

 

According to PTI, sources said that the meeting between PM Modi and Pope Francis that was scheduled only for 20 minutes went on for an hour. The PM also invited the Pope to the country.

Ahead of the historic meeting, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said that the Prime Minister will have a separate meeting with the Pope. "He will be meeting his holiness on a one-to-one basis," he said during a press conference in Rome.

"Tomorrow, the Prime Minister will pay a call on His Holiness, Pope Francis at the Vatican City, and thereafter, he will attend G20 sessions, where he will also hold more bilateral meetings and we will continue to keep you informed," Shringla said. The meeting could, after a certain period of time, be followed up by delegation-level talks, he said. "The Vatican has not set an agenda. I believe, tradition is not to have an agenda when you discuss issues with His Holiness. And I think we would respect that. I am sure the issues would cover a range of areas of interest in terms of the general global perspectives and issues that are important to all of us, COVID-19, health issues, how we can work together to maintain peace and tranquility and this is something that, I think would be the general trend in the discussions," the Foreign Secretary had added.

After the meeting with the Pope, the Prime Minister departed from the Vatican City ahead of the Group of 20 (G20) Summit. The PM arrived in Italy on Friday (October 29) to participate in the two-day G20 Summit. This summit will be the eighth G20 Summit attended by Modi.

(With Agency inputs)

 

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