Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday interacted with people from different communities, including the Indian diaspora and Friends of India from various organizations here in the Italian capital, and appreciated the role they played in strengthening India-Italy relations.

Modi, who arrived here earlier today at the invitation of his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, was greeted upon his arrival at Chigi Palace, the seat of the Cabinet, for their first in-person meeting. He was also given a guard of honor.

The Prime Minister met members of the Indian diaspora in Italy and Friends of India from various organisations, including representatives of the Italian Hindu Federation, the Italian Congregation for Krishna Consciousness, the Sikh community and institutions involved in commemorating the Indian soldiers who fought in Italy. Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters during a press briefing during the two world wars.

He said Modi also met Sanskrit scholars during the meeting.

The Prime Minister met and interacted with many Indian and Sanskrit experts from Italian universities. The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that he noted their interest in Indian culture, literature, yoga and Ayurveda and praised the role they played in strengthening India-Italy relations.

She said in a separate statement that Modi met and interacted with community members from various organisations, including representatives of the Italian Hindu Federation – Sanatana Dharma Samga, adding that the Prime Minister praised the role they played in spreading Indian culture in Italy.

In another statement, the MEA said Prime Minister Modi met and interacted with community members from various organisations, including representatives of the Sikh community and institutions involved in memorializing Indian soldiers who fought in Italy in World War I and World War II.

She said the Prime Minister praised the valor shown by the Indian soldiers in these wars.

Modi expressed his appreciation for the role that community members play in strengthening India-Italy relations.

Earlier, the Prime Minister honored flowers at a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Rome, where he was welcomed by an enthusiastic group of Indians at the place, Shringla said.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had earlier tweeted: “Papu the Great’s ideals resonate globally.”

From Rome, Modi is traveling to Glasgow, UK, at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a climate summit that begins on Sunday.

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