Dialogue, diplomacy best options to resolve Ukraine conflict: India ahead of G7 summit
PM Narendra Modi will travel to Italy on Thursday to attend an outreach session on the summit on June 14 | File photo

Dialogue, diplomacy best options to resolve Ukraine conflict: India ahead of G7 summit

New Delhi, Jun 12 (PTI) India on Wednesday reiterated that the best option to resolve the Ukraine conflict is dialogue and diplomacy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to Italy to attend the annual summit of G7 grouping that is set to focus on dealing with global geopolitical turmoil.

Modi, accompanied by a high-level delegation, will travel to Italy on Thursday to attend an outreach session on the summit on June 14. It will be his first trip abroad after assuming charge as prime minister for the third term.

The G7 summit, to be held in the luxury resort of Borgo Egnazia in Italy's Apulia region from June 13 to 15, is expected to be dominated by the raging war in Ukraine and the conflict in Gaza.

"We have always maintained that dialogue and diplomacy is the best option," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a media briefing when asked what would be India's approach to resolve the Ukraine conflict.

He also recalled Modi's statement in September 2022 that "today's era is not of war".

Kwatra talked about the consequences of the war including its derivative impact on food, fuel and fertiliser availability, challenges to global supply chains and disruptions in the global economy.

"We have always been in the forefront to talk about not just the conflict, the need for dialogue and diplomacy but also the way the conflict is impacting on the priorities and interests of the developing countries," he said.

"We have always been at forefront to offer assistance wherever we can to alleviate challenges faced by the Global South because of the conflict, humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and also to the Global South affected by conflict," he said.

The foreign secretary said India will continue to share its perspective with world leaders on the sidelines of the summit and continue to emphasise and underline the importance of dialogue and diplomacy to address the situation.

Kwatra said Modi will participate in the Outreach session along with the other countries on June 14 The session will be focused on issues relating to artificial intelligence, energy, Africa and the Mediterranean.

The foreign secretary said the prime minister's participation in the G7 summit would also provide a timely opportunity to follow up on outcomes of the G20 summit held under India's presidency last year and deliberate on issues which are significant for the Global South.

He said India's regular participation at G7 summit points to increasing recognition to New Delhi's efforts to address global challenges.

Kwatra said Modi is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni.

"In the meeting, the two prime ministers are expected to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties and give directions for next steps," he said.

Modi is also likely to have bilateral meetings with some other leaders.

Asked whether the prime minister will hold any bilateral meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Kwatra did not give a direct reply and said Modi's schedule is in the works.

Modi had attended the previous G7 summit in Hiroshima in May last year.

On the sidelines of the summit, he talks with Zelenskyy and a number of other leaders.

The G7 comprises the US, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada and Japan.

Italy is holding the current presidency of the G7 (Group of Seven) and is hosting the summit in that capacity.

A key focus of the Italian presidency has been to defend the rules-based international system.

Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine has undermined its principles and triggered growing instability, with multiple crises unfolding worldwide, according to Italy.

The G7 will give equal importance to the conflict in the Middle East, with its consequences for the global agenda, it says.

The bloc expanded into the G8 between 1997 and 2013, with the inclusion of Russia. However, Russia's participation was suspended in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea.

In line with its tradition, representatives of a number of countries and international organisations are invited to the summit by the host nation that holds the chair.

Besides India, Italy has invited leaders from 11 developing countries in Africa, South America and the Indo-Pacific region to attend the summit.

Though the European Union is not a member of the G7, it attends the annual summit. PTI

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)
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