Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met his United Kingdom counterpart Boris Johnson at the Group of Seven, or G-7, summit being held in Biarritz, France. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade, defence and security, the Hindustan Times reported.
The prime minister will meet United States President Donald Trump and other world leaders on the sidelines of the summit on Monday. He is expected to speak on environment, climate and digital transformation with Trump. In his meeting with Trump, Modi is also likely to discuss the situation in Kashmir and trade problems.
In the past month, Trump has offered two times to intervene in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. While Pakistan has seemed open to the idea, India has maintained that it is a bilateral matter. Hostilities between the two neighbours have risen since India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, and decided to split the state into two Union Territories.
Modi’s meeting with British PM Johnson was the first since he took charge last month. The Prime Minister’s Office said Modi began by congratulating Johnson on England’s win in the third Test of the Ashes. The two leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation, it added.
“PM Narendra Modi had a good meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson on margins of #G7 summit,” External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. “Good exchange of views on India’s participation at the Climate Action Summit at the UN and other issues of mutual interest.”
Modi also held discussions with United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres. Some reports speculated that they may have spoken about the Jammu and Kashmir situation. Pakistan has repeatedly tried to raise the Kashmir matter at international forums. On August 16, the United Nations Security Council held a rare closed-door meeting to discuss the situation in the state. Several countries, including China, the United States and France, have urged the two countries to resolve the matter bilaterally. The UN chief had also asked both India and Pakistan to exercise restraint over the Kashmir matter.
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