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Transcript of Special Briefing on the visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Germany and UAE (June 24, 2022)

June 24, 2022

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: A very good afternoon to all of you. Thank you for your presence here this afternoon for the Special Media Briefing that we are organizing on the eve of the Prime Minister's visit to Germany as well as to the UAE, which will start from the day after. To give us a sense of the visit, as well as take some of your queries, we have the privilege of having Foreign Secretary, Shri Vinay Kwatra with us, also on the dias with me is Shri Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry, as well as our Joint Secretaries looking after Gulf, Shri Vipul and Shri Ninad Deshpande who's handling the G7 and various other charges. With that, I would request Foreign Secretary Sir to give an opening statement about the visit and then we will open the floor for some questions.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Thank you very much, and Good afternoon and namaskar to all of you for presence here this afternoon for Special Briefing on Prime Minister's upcoming visit and participation in the G7 Summit. At the invitation of German Chancellor, Mr. Scholz, Honourable Prime Minister will be traveling to Schloss Elmau, near Munich in Bavaria, South Germany this Sunday, that is 26th of June, actually the midnight of 25th of June, to participate in the G7 Summit.

Besides India, Germany has also invited Argentina, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa, as stated by Chancellor Scholz. I quote "to recognize the democracies of the global south as partners”. During the visit, Honourable Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings and discussions with the leaders of the G7 as also the guest countries on the side-lines of the G7 Summit. Prime Minister is also scheduled to have an interaction with the Indian diaspora at a community event during his stay in Germany for the G7 Summit. As you are all aware, Prime Minister's last visit to Germany was for the 6th Intergovernmental consultations held in Berlin on 2nd of May, earlier this year. This was Prime Minister's fourth Intergovernmental Consultation and the first one, he co-chaired with the new German Chancellor, Chancellor Scholz.

The G7 Summit has chosen five key priorities for the current year. And in broad term these are: 1) energy transition, 2) economic recovery and transformation, 3) pandemic prevention and control, 4) sustainable investments and infrastructure and 5) promotion of shared values of democracy. On the day of the Summit, that is 27th of June, Prime Minister is scheduled to participate in two sessions along with other partner countries of the G7 Summit. First one relates to climate, energy and health and the second session is on food security and gender equality. India's regular participation at the G7 Summits clearly points to increasing acceptance and recognition that India needs to be a part of any and every sustained effort to find solution to solve the challenges, global challenges in particular which are being faced by the world. After attending the G7 Summit, Prime Minister will be traveling to United Arab Emirates on 28th of June to pay personal condolences on the passing away of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, the former UAE president and Abu Dhabi Ruler. This will be Prime Minister's first meeting at the same time with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan since his election, as the new President of the UAE and the Ruler of Abu Dhabi. As you are all aware, last visit of Prime Minister to UAE took place in August 2019. And the last visit of the President of UAE as then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi took place in January 2017 when he visited India as the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebrations of India on 26th of January that year.

As is a common knowledge, both the leaders that is the present current President of the UAE and the Prime Minister, have very regularly and continuously nurtured the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE over the past few years. During the virtual summit between the two and February this year, both countries also signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which has since entered into force and the first consignments under that CEPA agreement have started flowing from India to UAE and vice versa. We are all aware that India and UAE share very close and friendly relations, whose foundations lay in our historical People to People contacts. Our vision for bilateral relations includes partnership in diverse areas, including trade, investment, energy, particularly renewable energy, food security, health, defense, skill development, education, culture, and people to people ties. I would like to end here and if there are any questions, we'd be very happy to take them. Thank you very much.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you very much, sir. Before I open the floor for questions, just ground rules, please introduce yourself and your agency. And please limit to one question on the visit itself.

Kavita Joshi: Good afternoon Sir, mah Kavita Joshi hoon Hari Bhoomi newspaper se, Sir mera sawal Prime Minister ke UAE visit ko lekar ha. Sir, jaise paigambar controversy ke baad ye pehla mauka hai jab Pradhan Mantri UAE ja rahe hai aur wahan par rashtrapati ke saath woh aamne-samne ki mulakat karenge, toh Sir kya iss mulakat mein jo Paigambar controversy jo Bharat mein hui hai ussko lekar ke jo hamara stand hai woh bhi Pradhan Mantri wahan par Rashtrapati ke saath jo varta hone vaali hai usko rakh sakte hai, usaka koi jikr ho sakta hai or Sir bilateral relations ke baare mein kya charchaye hongi UAE ke saath, issko thoda sa explain aap karein ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Good Afternoon Sir I am Kavita Joshi from Hari Bhoomi Newspaper, Sir my question is about Prime Minister's UAE visit. Sir, this is the first time since the Prophet controversy that the Prime Minister is going to the UAE and he will have a face-to-face meeting with the President there, so Sir, can the Prime Minister also discuss our stand on that issue in the talks that are going to take place with the President there, can this issue come up in the talks? And what will be the discussion about bilateral relations with the UAE, request you to explain in brief?

Manash: Sir, this is Manash from PTI, Press Trust of India. My question is about Prime Minister's visit to Germany to participate in the G7 Summit. As the summit is taking place in the backdrop of the crisis in Ukraine that has triggered severe food and energy security issues. So what is India's outlook to deal with these two issues of food security and energy security that has been talked about extensively in the global discourse?

Rishikesh: Sir, I’m Rishikesh from Sputnik News. Sir, will there be any discussion about providing financial assistance to Sri Lanka when PM Modi will meet with Biden or German Chancellor?

Madhurendra: News Nation se, Mera sawal PM ki visit ko lekar hai, particularly do subjects par mein aapka focus chahunga, strategic alliance jo INDIA-UAE ka hai usamein kis tarah ki batchit PM modi ki hogi ? kya hum koi defence deal karne ja rahe hain ya strategic partnership ko aage badhaane ke liye hum kya karne ja rahe hai ? kyaa agenda hoga ? or dusra energy security ko lekar ke kya batchit hogi ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Madhurendra from News Nation, my question is about PM's visit, I would like to focus your attention on two subjects, what kind of conversation will PM Modi have in context of India-UAE strategic alliance? Are we going to make a defence deal or are we going to do something else to advance the strategic partnership? What will be the agenda? And secondly what will be the conversation on energy security?

Chandrakala: Good afternoon sir. This is Chandrakala from ETV Bharat. I have a question related to G7 Countries that have somehow unitedly imposed sanctions on Russia. So will there be any pressure from the countries on New Delhi when it comes to restricting oil purchase from Russia? Thank you.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Sir perhaps I'll hand over the floor to you on this point.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Thank you.

Thank you, kavita ji aapka sabse pratham prashn tha ki mananiya pradhanmantri ji ki jo UAE ki yatra hai usmen paigambar vivad ko lekar ke batchit hogi ya nahi hogi, juda hua prashn tha jo hamare sputnik ke mitr ne poochha tha, ye jo tha pradhanmantri ji ke UAE ki yatra mein suraksha sambandho ke kshetra mein kya batchit hogi ? kyaa agenda hoga ? kya energy security agenda ka bhag hoga ki nahi ? to, yadi aapki anumati ho to main do prashn ko ek saath sanyukt roop mein jo hai iska uttar dene ka prayas karunga .

Dekhiye, jahan tak aapne jo vivadaspad mudde ki jo baat ki, khadi ke deshon ke lagbhag sabhi desho mein ye spasht roop se understanding hai ki bharat ki iss mudde ko lekar ke kya position rahi hai, kya situation rahi hai. Ye position or situation hamne kai baar, kai mancho ke madhyam se spasht ki hai aur mujhe nahi lagta ki is mudde ko lekar ke aage kuchh specific roop se baat karne ki avashyakta hai.

Jahan tak pradhanmantri ji ki UAE ki yatra ka sambandh hai, jaisa ki maine abhi kaha apne opening remarks mein ki mananiya Pradhan mantri ji is yatra pe do mukhya uddeshyon se ja rahe hai, pratham, ki vahan pe jo Abu Dhabi ke ruler His Highness Sheikh Khalifa ka nidhan hua usko lekar ke apni condolences express karne ke liye jo aaj ke mukhya Rashtrapati hai tatha jo vahan ke rashtrapati hai Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan unko apni taraf se shubhkamnayein, sahyog aur unki jo abhi haal mein rashtrapati pad par niyukti hui hai.

Ye swabhavik hai ki jab do desh ke neta milate hai to dwipakshiye sambandho ke kai muddon par baat hoti hai, in muddon ka kya svaroop hoga, spasht roop se kya mudde honge ye to mera iss samay kehna shayad uchit nahi hoga, lekin jaisa maine aapse bataya jahan tak bharat-UAE ke sambandho ka prashn hai, woh kafi jyada dynamic, robust or widespread hai. kuchh kshetro ke jikr maine aapke samne rakhe usmen urja aur urja suraksha ka jo kshetra hai woh kafi samay kaal se jo hai bharat-UAE ke dvipakshiy sambandho ka ek mukhya bhaag raha hai.

Hamare jo jan manas ke sambandh rahe hai, people to people ties jo donon ke beech rahe hai ye ek dusra paripeksh raha hai. iske alava, maine abhi kaha raksha,suraksha paryavaran, shiksha, swasthya, vanijya, nivesh ye sab areas hain, kyunki bharat-UAE ki jo strategic partnership hai woh bahuayami strategic partnership hai woh keval ek vishayi strategic partnership nahi hai.

To naturally jab do netagan, jab pradhanmantri aur UAE ke rashtrapati milenge toh in sabhi muddon pe kis prakar se donon desho ke sambandho ko sahyog dwara, sahkarik dwara kaise viksit kiya jaye, kaise unko nai unchaiyon par leke jaya jaye, un vishayon par donon netaon ke beech mein mera poora vishwas hai ki batchit hogi lekin batchit ka spasht aur specific roop se kya svaroop hoga, aap sahmat honge mujhse ki uska is samay jikr karna shayad purnatah uchit nahi hoga.

(Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation)

Thank you, Kavita Ji, your first question was whether there will be a conversation about the Prophet's dispute in the visit of the Hon'ble Prime Minister to the UAE or not, the related question was what our Sputnik's friend had asked, that what would be the conversation in the field of security relations during the Prime Minister's visit to the UAE? What will be the agenda? Will energy security agenda be a part of it? So, if I have your permission, I will try to answer the two questions together jointly.

Look, as far as the contentious issue that you have talked about, almost all the countries in the Gulf clearly understand what has been India’s position on this issue, what has been the situation. We have explained this position and situation many times, through many forums and I don't think there is any need to talk about this issue in any specific way.

As far as the Prime Minister's visit to the UAE is concerned, as I just said in my opening remarks, the Hon'ble Prime Minister is going with the two main objectives of this visit, the first one is to express his condolences on the passing away of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and to offer best wishes and cooperation to the newly appointed President of the country, Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It is natural that when the leaders of the two countries meet, there are many issues of bilateral relations, what will be the nature of these issues, what will be the obvious issues, it may not be fair to say at this time, but as I told you, as far as India-UAE relations are concerned, they are much more dynamic, robust and widespread. Some of the areas that I mentioned before you include the area of energy and energy security which has been a major part of India-UAE bilateral relations for a long time.

The people-to-people relations that we have, the people-to-people ties that have been there between the two nations is also a different perspective. Apart from this, I just said that defence, security, environment, education, health, commerce, investment are all areas because the strategic partnership of India-UAE is a multi-dimensional strategic partnership, it is not just a strategic partnership.

So naturally, when two leaders meet, the Prime Minister and the President of the UAE, how can the relationship between the two countries be developed on all these issues through cooperation, all this will be discussed. Discussions will also be on how to take the relationship to new heights. I have full faith in the two leaders that there will be talks between the two leaders, but what will be the nature of the dialogue clearly and specifically, you will agree with me that it may not be entirely appropriate to mention it at this time.

I think the friend from PTI had asked us a question relating to food security, Ukraine crisis, etc. and how this would play out during the G7 Summit. I think on the question of Ukraine, India has repeatedly clarified its position from all platforms, through our press releases, through public statements, during some of the pressers that even I have held here myself, and the position has always been very clear. Maybe at the risk of repeating let me just say it again, the position is that we have asked for immediate cessation of facilities right from the beginning of the onset of the conflict. And we have clearly said that the path to the resolution of the problem is through diplomacy and dialogue. Insofar as the question of food security is concerned, I think the Russia-Ukraine situation has generated a certain amount of food security crisis all over the world and as a responsible nation, India has taken a very proactive stance to ensure that the food security of the vulnerable countries in particular are addressed in a manner that their needs are addressed, but also at the same time, the food security within India is absolutely not at all impacted and the management of food security issues both internal within the country as also in terms of externalities, trade etc. with other countries that is the perspective it has been managed, and I think there has been a widespread appreciation of the manner in which India has taken forward this position.

Hamare sputnik ke mitr ka prashn tha ki Srilanka ke mudde ko leke yadi koi arthik assistance jo hai, G7 mein is vishay par batchit hogi ki nahi hogi? (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) The question of our friend from Sputnik was that whether there will be a discussion on this subject of economic assistance to Sri Lanka, in the G7 or not?

As I mentioned to you in my opening remarks, the priorities of G7 on the day of the Summit, the two sessions in which the honourable Prime Minister will participate, have been very clearly defined. The first session relates to climate and energy and the second session relates to the food security and the gender equality. It is quite possible that on the side-line conversations with other leaders of the G7 and the outreach countries, it is quite possible that the situation in the region will come up for discussions. It has been our endeavour, even in previous interactions to highlight to the partner countries, we shared our perspective of the current situation in Sri Lanka, mentioned to them very clearly that right since the beginning of this year, India has provided roughly around $3.5 billion worth of financial assistance to Sri Lanka, essentially under four brackets, one, currency swap under the SAARC arrangements, a billion dollar line of credit for the trading arrangements, and a rollover of the Asian clearing union settlements of dues. So I think our assistance to Sri Lanka, our continuing cooperation in the field of development and humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka is unprecedented in terms of scale, as also in terms of its speed. At the same time during our conversations with the other developed countries in particular, we have highlighted to them the need for them to come together and partner with Sri Lanka in order so that their current economic situation is addressed quickly and Sri Lanka can move on to the path of economic recovery.

There was this last question on the oil purchases from Russia and whether there'll be pressure. Look, I think on this one, we have said it again so many times at the risk of repetition, let me say it again, whatever are the trading arrangement that India puts in place with regard to the purchase of crude oil all over the world are determined purely from the consideration of energy security of India. And there is no other consideration. And I think that consideration is very well understood, I would say even appreciated across the countries and I don't see there is any point of assuming any pressure on that issue. India has continued its oil trade purchases from wherever we need to do it, purely determined and governed and motivated by our energy security considerations, which is of course one of the key things in terms of the national economic interests also. Thank you.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you sir. There's a few more hands I'll try to go through.

Vijaylaxmi: Sir main Vijay Lakshmi hoon India TV se, sir kyunki G7 ki meeting hai sir to pichhale dinon hamane dekha ki Ukraine ke yuddh ki jo sthiti hai, Ukraine par sanctions lagaane ko lekar ke kafi european desh kafi baat karte aayen, kya hum ummid karte hai ki is platform par bhi us tarah ki charcha ho sakti hai aur agar hoti hai ya is tarah ki maang hoti hai to bharat ka rukh kya rehne vala hai ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir I am Vijay Lakshmi from India TV, Sir because there is a meeting of G7, so in the last few days we have seen that because of the situation of war in Ukraine, a lot of European countries have been talking a lot about imposing sanctions on Ukraine, do we expect that kind of discussion can take place on this platform also and if there is such a demand, then what is the stand of India? Is it going to stay?

Brahm Prakash Dubey: Sir main Bramhprakash dubey hoon Zee News se, mera sawal pradhanmantri ki yatra ko lekar ke hai, germany ki yatra ko lekar mera sawal ye hai ki jis tarah se bharat pichhale ek dedh saal se apne border par face kar raha hai khastor se china ke sandarbh mein mera sawal hai to kya is platform mein kya hum ye mudda bhi uthaaenge ki jab europe ke samaksh ya G7 ke samaksh key jab asia ke mudde aate hai to european desho ka rukh kuchh aur hota hai , to cheen ke sandarbh mein mera sawal hai, kya masla bhi uthega kyoki takriban dedh saal se masla latka hua hai, cheen ka jo aggression, cheen ka jo rukh hai border par ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir, I am Brahm Prakash Dubey from Zee News, My question is about the Prime Minister's visit, the visit to Germany, my question is that what India is facing on its border for the last one and a half years, especially in the context of China, my question is, will we also raise the issue on this platform in presence of Europe or before the G7. When issues related to Asia are broughy up, the attitude of European countries is different. So, in the context of China, my question is, will the issue be raised since it has been pending for almost a year and a half, the aggression of China, the attitude of China on the border?

Neeraj: Sir Neeraj hoon News 18 India se, abhi BRICS ka sammelan hua, declaration mein jo Ukraine pe jo baatein kahi gai, Ukraine par jo declare kiya gaya wo bharat ke stand ko hi dohrata, roos BRICS ka member hai, G7 ka stand roos ke khilaaf hai, to roos ne jo BRICS mein jo baatein kahi hai bataur bharat ke pradhanmantri aur BRICS ke sadasya ke taur par kya G7 mein pradhanmantri us sandesh ko rakhenge jo russia ne BRICS mein diya hoga kyunki G7 ka member nahi hai russia ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir I am Neeraj from News 18 India, just now the BRICS conference was held and in the declaration, what was said on Ukraine, what was declared on Ukraine repeats India's stand. Russia is a member of BRICS. So, what Russia has said in BRICS, as the Prime Minister of India and as a member of BRICS, will the Prime Minister put out in G7, the message that Russia has given in BRICS, because Russia is not a member of G7?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Aapne do alag-alag chizon pe jikr kiya hai, ek hai jo joint declaration hai aur roos ne jo national position diya tha, aap kiski baat kar rahe hai ? (Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation) You mentioned two different things, one which is the joint declaration and the other is national position that Russia gave, which one are you talking about?

Neeraj: Main batchit ki jo baat hai ghoshana patra mein, batchit ka jo samarthan kiya gaya hai, russia bataur member hai BRICS ka to us sandesh ko vahan le jayenge PM. (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) What I talked about is in the declaration, the dialogue which has been supported, as Russia is a member of BRICS, then will that message be taken there by the PM?

Sanjeev: Sir I’m Sanjeev from News 24. And you informed us about Prime Minister addressing the Indian diaspora. In which city is this going to be held and on what date sir?

Avinash: Sir I’m Avinash. Sir, could you please say some words about the significance of Prime Minister's visit to Germany for G7 meeting?

Speaker 1: Sir you mentioned that the situation in Sri Lanka could well come up for discussion on the side-lines. My question is will India ask the US, Japan, Germany for a direct infusion of funds to Sri Lanka and you visited Sri Lanka yourself just yesterday, how much more money has India promised to Sri Lanka apart from the USD 3.5 billion.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: How is the second part related to the visit I'm not sure at all. So I'm going to drop that. The first one I thought Foreign Secretary already answered, but I'll leave it to him. Yeah, the last question.

Jai Prakash: Sir main Jayaprakash hoon Dainik jagaran se, Sir mera sawal hai ki kya Pradhan Mantri ki America ke Rashtrapati Biden se mulakat ki koi sambhavna hai ? (Questioned in Hindi; Approximate Translation) Sir I am Jai Prakash from Dainik Jagran, Sir my question is, is there any possibility of the Prime Minister meeting with US President Biden?

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Okay, sir I think we close with that set of questions sir.

Shri Vinay Kwatra, Foreign Secretary: Vijayalakshmi ji jo aapka prashn tha ki jo G7 ki summit varta ke dauran roos ke upar sanctions ko leke kya bharat ka rukh rahega, kya usmein paksh rahega? kis prakar se usmen kaha jayega or uske baad jaise ki hamare Zee News 18 ke mitr ne bhi poochha ki bharat ka jo brics ka jo vaktavya tha us vaktavya mein jo russia ka paripeksh tha, kya bharat us paripeksh ko G7 mein rakhega? yadi main prashn theek se samjha toh shayad yahi prashn tha aapka.

Dekhiye bharat kisi bhi antarastriya sandarbh mein, kisi bhi antarastriya summit ki varta men khas taur par aisi varta mein keval do ya teen paripekshon se apna paksh rakhta hai. sabse pehla paripeksh paksh rakhne ka hai swayam bharat ka paripeksh, kisi dusre desh ka paripeksh nahi hai, swayam bharatiy paripeksh se, bharat ke hito ke maddenajar, bharat aur dusre desho ke paripeksh ke maddenazar tatha bharat ke jo siddhant hain, bharat ke jo hit hain unko multayah maddenazar rakhte hue hi bharat ka paripeksh in antarrastriya sammelan mein rakha jaata hai.

Issi sandarbh mein jaisa maine shuru mein bhi kaha jahan tak Ukraine ka prashn hai hamara paksh hamesha yahi raha hai ki shigra ati shigra yuddh viram tatha diplomacy or dialogue dwara mudde ka samadhan. Iss paripeksh ke alava jo Ukraine ke mudde ko leke jo food security, energy security, commodity inflation, price inflation, disruption of supply chain ke jo related mudde hain, unke baarein mein bhi bharat ne spasht roop se apna paripeksh har dvipakshiya varta mein G7 desh ke neta ho, Quad ki summit ho ya G7 ki summit ho usmen rakha hai aur aage chalte hue bhi bharat ke siddhant, bharat ke hit aur jo baki cascading effect hai jaise food security, urja suraksha ke baaren mein usmein baki vulnerable countries ke baarein mein kya ek paripeksh rakha jaye vahi paripeksh bharat ke mat, bharat ke vaktavy, aur bharat ke sujhavon ko hi G7 men prastavit karega . I think iske baaren mein koi duvidha, shanka, sankoch nahi hona chahiye ki paksh keval bharat ka hoga, siddhant hamare honge, hit apne honge, lekin samadhan aisa hoga jo ki ek vashwick paripeksh mein ek spasht roop se ek relevance rakhta ho, ek usaki upayogita ho, ek uski spasht ta ho.

Ek prashn tha Zee news ke mitr ka ki europe, asia, china border ko leke usaka mudda kis prakar se address kiya jayega aur ye jo hai . Dekhiye iske baaren mein bhi kai aur mancho se bhi hamare videsh mantri ne spasht roop se kaha hai ki Asia meh jis prakar ki, Indo-Pacific mein jis prakar ki samarik chunautiyan rahi hai woh samarik chunautiyan Ukraine se kafi pehle ki samarik chunautiyan hai. is samarik chunautiyon ka vishv ke prati aur vishv ka kya isake prati dayitv ho akarshan ho ye hamne har manch pe jo hai apne samkakshiya desh ke netaon ko spasht roop se bataya hai , to ye aisi baat nahi hai ki ye suddenly Ukraine ke baad ubhar ke aai hai, ye samarik chunautiyan aur hum sabko pata hai ki un samarik chunautiyon ka uday kahan se hota hai . In samarik chunautiyon ke baaren mein hamare pradhanmantri ne spasht roop se vishesh roop se sablogo ko aur hamare videsh mantri ne har manch se spasht kiya hai iske baare mein bharat ki kya niti rahi hai.

(Answered in Hindi; Approximate Translation)

Vijayalakshmiji, your question was whether India's stand on sanctions against Russia during the G7 summit talks will be there, will there be a side in it? How will it be addressed and after that, as our friend of Zee News 18 also asked, that the statement of BRICS and the Russian perspective in it, will India keep that perspective in the G7? If I understood the question correctly, maybe that was your question.

See, India takes its stand from only two or three perspectives in any international context, in any international summit negotiation, especially in such a dialogue. The first perspective is to have a stand from the Indian perspective itself, in view of the interests of India, in view of the perspective of India and other countries, and the principles of India, the interests of India, which are in view of India's interests are raised in the International Conferences.

In this context, as I said at the outset also, as far as Ukraine is concerned, our stand has always been that the issue should be resolved at the earliest through a ceasefire and diplomacy and in addition to this perspective, which takes up the issue of Ukraine there are related issues of food security, energy security, commodity inflation, price inflation, disruption of supply chain. About them also, India has clearly put its perspective in every bilateral dialogue, be it the G7 leaders, the Quad summit, the G7 summit and going forward, India’s principles, India's interest and the rest of the cascading effect, such as food security, energy security, perspective of India on the other vulnerable countries, the same perspective should be kept as India’s view, India's statement and India's suggestions in the G7. I think there should be no dilemma, doubt, hesitation about it that the side will be only of India, the principles will be ours, the interests will be our own but the solution will be such that in a global perspective, it clearly has its relevance and utility.

There was a question from Zee News 18 friend that how will the issue of Europe, Asia, China will be addressed taking into account the border issues. See, in many other forums also, our External Affairs Minister has clearly stated that the kind of strategic challenges that have existed in the Indo-Pacific are the strategic challenges that precede Ukraine. We have clearly told the leaders of our counterpart countries that these strategic challenges should be attractive to the world and what is the responsibility of the world towards it. So, it's not that it has suddenly emerged after Ukraine, these are strategic challenges and we all know where those strategic challenges originate. What has been India's policy on these strategic challenges, our Prime Minister has clearly explained all concerned, and our External Affairs Minister has also explained India’s policy on such issues, in all forums.

With regard to the questions relating to the diaspora event, I think the details are being worked out. And I think at this stage, the specific timing, location, venue, I don't think it would be correct in terms of security interest to really put this forward at this stage. But I think as the visit unfolds, I'm sure some of these things will become more clear. With regard to the US, Japan, Sri Lanka, assistance to Sri Lanka, I think I have already mentioned is that in insofar as India's partnership with Sri Lanka is concerned, its various dimensions are concerned, it’s extent is concerned, its depth is concerned, I think India has been in the forefront of partnering with Sri Lanka to ensure that the country essentially gets back to its feet as early as possible with extensive amount of financial assistance, development assistance, even humanitarian assistance and this is something which we have continuously flagged to all other partners, that economic situation in Sri Lanka is a matter which needs to be addressed seriously, but India as a true first responder to the crisis in the neighbour and Sri Lanka is a central part to India's neighbourhood first policy. Principal drivers are peace and prosperity, stability in Sri Lanka. So with those aspects in mind, we have been in absolute forefront of going and assist in Sri Lanka in this hour of need. We have flagged this to other partners also. And we hope that those partners would take a more serious look at how they would want to approach Sri Lanka in days, weeks and months ahead. Thank you.

Apologies for missing out two questions, one relating to the significance of the visit. I think I mentioned to you right up front in the beginning in the remarks that one of larger significance of it is that you know, we are passing through a phase and it is of course, a continuous and an evolving phase, where the world at large continues to face challenges, which are global in nature. The one of the key significance of Prime Minister's continuous engagement with the leadership of the global world, whether it's at QUAD, whether it's at G7, whether it's at BRICS, or the G20, the larger part of the significance, especially in case of G7, is that for these global challenges, for their mitigation, for addressing all of these challenges, India's presence, India's participation, India's role, India's responsibility, India's involvement is absolutely essential to find those solutions to the global problems. And I think this is very, very important significance of our presence and participation, Prime Minister Modi's presence and participation at these Summits, which then gets reduced into specific sessions when you talk about, so if you talk about climate and energy, India is 1/5 of the humanity, naturally, what India does is critical to what solutions anybody in the world tries to find to the questions of energy and climate. I think it's quite obvious. With regard to the scheduling of Prime Minister's bilateral visits during his visit to the G7 that is an ongoing process as the visit unfolds, we'll keep sharing with you the bilateral meetings that the Prime Minister will be having. Thank you.

Shri Arindam Bagchi, Official Spokesperson: Thank you very much sir, for the detailed responses. Thank you also to Shri Dammu Ravi, Secretary (Economic Relations) as well as Joint Secretary Shri Vipul and Shri Deshpande for their presence. Thank you to all of you for being here today. Thank you. Good afternoon.

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