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Globetrotter Modi to play balancing act

After a gap of almost five months during which he oversaw Assembly elections in five states—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur—PM Modi is set to pack his travel bags again with a slew

Published: 27th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2017 10:59 AM   |  A+A-

After a gap of almost five months during which he oversaw Assembly elections in five states—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur—PM Modi is set to pack his travel bags again with a slew of upcoming foreign trips, which actually began with his trip to Sri Lanka May 11. On May 29, he will begin his trip to Germany, Spain, Russia and France.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Modi at her official Meseberg Country Retreat for a bilateral meeting, after which they will attend the 4th India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations on May 30. They will also jointly address a business event attended by top CEOs from both nations, where Modi is expected to make a pitch for investments in his Make in India project.

In Spain, he will meet PM Mariano Rajoy and also call on King Felipe VI before attending a meeting with Spanish business leaders. From there, he moves to St. Petersburg June 1 for the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Then, Modi will participate as guest of honour at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. India and Russia are currently in talks over finalising the agreement for units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant but it is unclear whether this would be signed during the visit.

He then moves to Paris, June 2 for officials talks with the new French President Emmanuel Macron before returning to Delhi. Days later, Modi travels to Astana, Kazakhstan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation—a grouping which includes Russia, China, Kazakshstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan—summit June 7 and 8. Then comes the big ticket visits—to Israel, as the first PM to do so, and then to US to meet Trump, the dates for which are being finalised. Given the strained relations between Europe, Russia and the US, there will be some deft diplomatic semantics involved. But the thrust seems to be more on business this time, which is always a good thing.



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