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Donald Trump invites Narendra Modi for G-7 summit in U.S.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump. File

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump. File   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Trump had described the G-7 as “outdated” indicating that he wanted the inclusion of Russia, India, Australia, and South Korea in the group.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the next G-7 summit to be hosted by the U.S. Both the leaders also discussed the current tensions along the Line of Actual Control near Ladakh and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“President Trump spoke about the U.S. Presidency of the Group of Seven, and conveyed his desire to expand the ambit of the grouping beyond the existing membership, to include other important countries including India. In this context he extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to attend the next G-7 Summit,” said a government press release.

Sources here indicated that India is studying the gesture and will examine if the invite is aimed at making India a permanent part of the global high table at the G-7 or its redesigned shape as G-11.

In the next three years, India is expected to play a key role in global diplomatic arena because of its three-year term at the executive board of the World Health Organization which is a crucial responsibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the invite from President Trump is for the upcoming summit which has been postponed from June, sources indicated that they will argue for not just a change in G-7 but also at other multilateral platforms to reflect India's concerns. Mr. Modi had attended the G-7 summit at Biarritz in France last year after being invited by President Emmanuel Macron. The press release did not clarify if the G-11 will be launched in the upcoming summit for which President Trump has extended the invite.

Earlier President Trump had described the G-7 as “outdated” indicating that he wanted the inclusion of Russia, India, Australia, and South Korea in the group.

Significantly, despite India's claim about holding bilateral talks with China to reduce tension along the Line of Actual Control near Ladakh, Mr. Modi on Tuesday discussed the issue with Mr Trump. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier in the day announced that a high level military meeting will be held by the Indian and the Chinese military delegations on June 6.

Tuesday’s telephonic discussion came four days after President Trump caused a stir here by observing that the Indian Prime Minister was in a “bad mood” over the fast evolving situation near the LAC where Indian and Chinese troops reportedly had physical fights in the first fortnight of May. India had denied that Mr Modi held talks with the American President but both sides maintained high level contact on evolving security-related issues.

Mr Rajnath Singh held discussion on security issues of mutual interest with his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper and assured him that India will find a bilateral solution to the ongoing border tension with China along the LAC.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 7:12:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/donald-trump-invites-narendra-modi-for-g-7-summit-in-us/article31734089.ece

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