New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday left the national capital for France to attend bilateral and multilateral programmes there. From France, Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain before returning to France to attend the G7 Summit.
Modi's five-day visit to the three nations is scheduled between August 22 and 26. "PM@narendramodi emplanes for Paris. Over the next few days, he will attend important bilateral and multilateral programmes in France, UAE and Bahrain," the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) tweeted.
Before taking a special aircraft to France, the Prime Minister said in a statement: "My visit to France reflects the strong strategic partnership, which our two countries deeply value and share."
On Thursday and Friday, Modi would have bilateral meetings in France, including a summit interaction with French President Emmanuel Macron and a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
He would also interact with the Indian community and dedicate a memorial to the Indian victims of the two Air India crashes in France in the 1950s and 1960s.
On August 25 and 26, Modi would participate in the G7 Summit as Biarritz Partner at the invitation of the French President during the sessions on environment, climate, oceans and digital transformation.
"India and France have excellent bilateral ties, which are reinforced by a shared vision to cooperate for further enhancing peace and prosperity for our two countries and the world at large.
"Our strong strategic and economic partnership is complemented by a shared perspective on major global concerns such as terrorism, climate change. I am confident that this visit will further promote our long-standing and valued friendship with France for mutual prosperity, peace and progress," Modi said in the statement.
During his visit to the UAE and Baharin on August 23 and 24, Modi said he would look forward to discuss with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The Prime Minister has also planned to look forward to jointly release a stamp to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi along with the Crown Prince.
"It will be an honour to receive the 'Order of Zayed', the highest civilian decoration conferred by the UAE government, during this visit. I will also formally launch RuPay card to expand the network of cashless transactions abroad," he said.
"Frequent high-level interactions between India and the UAE testify our vibrant relations," said Modi, adding that the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner and fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.
"The qualitative enhancement of these ties is among one of our foremost foreign policy achievements. The visit would further strengthen our multifaceted bilateral ties with UAE," Modi said. The Prime Minister will also visit Bahrain during his trip, which would be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to Bahrain.
Modi will look forward to discuss with Baharin Prime Minister Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa to further boost bilateral relations and share views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. Modi would also meet the King of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and other leaders there besides interacting with the Indian diaspora.
"I will be blessed to be present at the formal beginning of the re-development of the temple of Shreenathji -- the oldest in the Gulf region -- in the wake of the auspicious festival of Janmashtami. I am confident that this visit would further deepen our relationship across sectors," Modi said.