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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday had an hour-long meeting with Pope Francis at Vatican City and invited him to visit India.

Although the meeting between PM Modi and the pope was scheduled for only 20 minutes, it went on for nearly an hour. Both are reported to have discussed a wide range of issues aimed at making the planet better, including fighting climate change and removing poverty.

“Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India," wrote Modi on Twitter after the interaction. 

This is the first Papal Visit since 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee met Pope John Paul II. 

PM Modi departed from the Vatican City after his meeting with Pope Francis on Saturday ahead of the G20. He was accompanied by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar.

The prime minister arrived in Italy on Friday to participate in the two-day G20 Summit. 

He will be a part of the G20 opening session on Global Economy and Global Health today. 

He is also scheduled to have a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. PM Modi is expected to have a meeting with Singapore PM Lee Hosein Loong as well.

In the evening, PM is scheduled to arrive at Terme di Diocleziano for a cultural programme. Later, there is a dinner planned for G20 leaders and partner countries.

While briefing about the prime minister's Italy visit, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday said that PM Modi will discuss the economic situation, Covid-19 pandemic, sustainable development and climate change with G20 leaders.

On Friday, PM Modi met with top European Union leaders and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. They congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India's excellent progress on the Covid-19 vaccination.

 

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