PM Modi arrives in Papua New Guinea, received warmly by PNG PM Marape

New Delhi/Port Moresby: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea on Sunday evening, on the second leg of his three-nation visit. He was greeted with a 19-gun salute, a guard of honour and ceremonial welcome, and as a special gesture PM James Marape received PM Modi at the airport.

As Prime Minister Modi alighted from the aircraft on to the tarmac, PNG Prime Minister James Marape warmly shook hands with the PM and bent down to touch his feet in respect. PM Modi then embraced his PNG counterpart in a warm hug.

This is PM Modi’s first visit to Papua New Guinea.

PM Modi in a tweet thanked his PNG counterpart for the welcome and said he will always remember the special gesture.

“Reached Papua New Guinea. I am thankful to PM James Marape for coming to the airport and welcoming me. This is a very special gesture which I will always remember. I look forward to boosting India’s ties with this great nation during my visit.”

The Indian community also came out in large numbers to welcome PM Modi, waving Indian flags and cheering.

“The Indian community in Papua New Guinea came in large numbers and showed remarkable affection. Thankful to them for the memorable welcome,” the PM said.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a tweet said:

“A grand beginning of an important visit!

PM @narendramodi arrives in Port Moresby on what is the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Papua New Guinea.

“Accorded a 19-gun salute, guard of honour & ceremonial welcome. As a special gesture, PM James Marape received PM Modi at the airport.”

The Third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit is being held in Port Moresby on Monday. It is being jointly hosted with Papua New Guinea. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will co-chair the Summit with Prime Minister Marape.

On Monday, PM Modi will go to Government House to pay a courtesy call on PNG Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae.

He will hold a bilateral with PM Marape in the morning, and after that, from 10am-12pm, he will meet Pacific leaders at the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit.

PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines with several of the 14 FIPIC members as well as with New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

PM will also hold a bilateral with the PM of Fiji Sitiveni Rabuka, who came to power in December last year.

PM Modi had launched the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) during his visit to Fiji in 2014. The Second FIPIC summit was held in Jaipur in 2015.

FIPIC involves India and 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), namely, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, Niue, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Palau, Nauru and Solomon Islands.


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