Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.

“I am pleased to meet Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Rome. We talked about ways to strengthen the friendship between India and Italy. There is great potential for expanding economic ties and cultural cooperation and for us to work together for a greener planet,” Modi tweeted.

Modi, who arrived in Italy earlier today at the invitation of his Italian counterpart, was greeted by Draghi upon his arrival at Shighi Palace, the seat of the Cabinet and the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy, for the meeting. .

Earlier, the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted that the two leaders had extensive talks on diversifying India-Italy relations.

Modi was also given a guard of honor.

Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters at a news briefing that the two leaders discussed the challenges posed by climate change and the COP26 climate summit.

They also discussed the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in Kabul as well as developments in the Indo-Pacific region.

Shringla said the issue of the cross-vaccination certificate had been discussed.

The issue of ease of access to travel with normalization is being discussed increasingly as countries recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There has been a discussion about mutual recognition of vaccines. I think there is a sense that this is a very doable mechanism by which we can facilitate international travel,” the foreign minister said.

“We have proposed mutual recognition of the vaccination certificate even in the G20. But as we speak, discussions on the outcome document are still ongoing. So I think most countries are very happy with the idea of ​​facilitating international travel more smoothly,” he said.

But the fact of the matter is that a number of countries feel that easier access and easier travel is something we need to work on collectively. “And that point made by the Prime Minister, I think has been received and pointed out,” Shringla said.

During the meeting, the two prime ministers discussed other areas of cooperation between India and Italy.

To provide new impetus to bilateral cooperation in renewable and clean energy, India and Italy issued a joint statement declaring a strategic partnership on energy transition, and agreed to explore partnerships in areas such as smart grids for the large-scale Green Corridor project, energy storage solutions, gas transportation and integrated waste management development and dissemination of green hydrogen and promotion of biofuels.

India and Italy also signed a statement of intent of agreement on textile cooperation during the meeting. There has been a very good discussion about two-way investments, particularly in the clean and renewable energy sector where Italy has a lot of experience.

“I think this is something the two prime ministers have agreed to see how we can move forward,” the foreign minister said.

Earlier, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagshi, tweeted that the two prime ministers reviewed the 2020-2025 action plan for the India-Italy bilateral partnership and reaffirmed the commitment to further expand trade and investment links.

“They are determined to cooperate to accelerate the transition of clean energy to combat climate change,” Baji added.

Italy is among India’s five largest trading partners in the European Union. India ranks 19th as a country of origin for Italian imports, accounting for 1.2 percent of Italian imports. Italy ranked 18th in FDI inflows into India during the period from April 2000 to December 2020, with FDI inflows reaching 3.02 billion US dollars during the period.

In his departure statement on Thursday, Modi said he would visit Rome and the Vatican City from October 29 to 31.

“During my visit to Italy, I will also visit the Vatican City, to invite His Holiness Pope Francis and meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, HG Cardinal Pietro Parolin,” Modi said.

From Rome, Modi will travel to Glasgow, UK, at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the climate summit. (with PTI input)

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