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PM Modi To Revitalize Relations With Athens During 2 Foreign Visits Ahead G20 Summit

Prior to the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to South Africa, Greece, and Indonesia on two separate occasions. He will attend two regional meetings and work to improve ties between Delhi and Athens.

In order to attend the Brics (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit in Johannesburg, Modi will first visit South Africa from August 22–24. Diplomatic circles are eagerly monitoring the visit in anticipation of the anticipated expansion of the Brics organization and the potential for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On August 25, Modi will stop in Greece on his way back from South Africa at the invitation of his counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis. An Indian premier will be visiting Athens for the first time in forty years, and during the trip, it is anticipated that the two nations will upgrade their relationship to a comprehensive strategic alliance, according to persons with knowledge of the situation on Friday.

Modi is anticipated to fly to Indonesia on September 6-7 to take part in the India-Asean and East Asia Summit before the G20 Summit, which India will host on September 9-10.

Modi will attend the 15th Brics Summit in Johannesburg along with the presidents of Brazil, China, and South Africa. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, will participate remotely in the conference, while Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister, will serve as the delegation’s leader.

This will also be the first in-person Brics Summit since 2019, and the meeting will be an opportunity to “review progress of the initiatives launched by the grouping and identify future areas of activity”, the external affairs ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Modi will also participate in a special event with the theme “Brics – Africa outreach and Brics plus dialogue”. This is being organised after the Brics Summit and will include dozens of countries, mostly from the African continent, invited by South Africa.

The external affairs ministry said without going into specifics that Modi will meet privately with “some of the leaders present in Johannesburg” while in South Africa. Whether the Chinese president will be one of the leaders with whom Modi will meet in person is unknown from the Indian side.

A meeting between Modi and Xi has become increasingly rumored in the wake of recent high-level interactions between China and India. On the fringes of global conferences in recent weeks, top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, who is presently the foreign minister, was met by both National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

The joint statement that was released during the most recent military commanders’ conference between India and China regarding the impasse on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has further fueled rumors about a Modi-Xi summit in Johannesburg. The discussions were hailed as productive and positive in the statement that was released following the meetings on August 13–14.

Modi will discuss measures to further improve the friendship with Mitsotakis during his official visit to Greece. Along with the Indian community in Greece, he will engage in conversation with business executives from both nations.

According to the external affairs ministry, “India and Greece enjoy civilisational ties that have strengthened in recent years through cooperation in areas like maritime transport, defense, trade and investments, and people-to-people ties.”

According to the sources, during the visit, India and Greece are anticipated to strengthen their connections and form a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In September 1983, then-prime minister Indira Gandhi traveled to Greece. Andreas Papandreou, a former Greek prime minister, made three trips to India: once in January 1985 for a summit on nuclear disarmament, once in November 1984 for Indira Gandhi’s burial, and once in January 1986 as the chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations.

During his visit to Greece in January 2023, Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi and Greek officials discussed ways to improve ties in the areas of commerce, the economy, culture, inter-personal interactions, migration, and mobility.

Modi is expected to visit Indonesia in early September to attend the India-Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and East Asia Summits in Jakarta. Modi’s meetings during this visit are expected to focus on ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific, including freedom of navigation and respect for sovereignty, the people said.

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