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Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized prioritizing the concerns of the Global South, especially Africa, during the Outreach Session at the G7 Summit in Apulia, Italy. He highlighted India’s honor in having the African Union admitted as a permanent member of the G20 under its presidency.

Modi discussed India’s energy transition strategy, focusing on availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability, and reiterated India’s goal to achieve NET ZERO by 2070. He also called for global participation in India’s “Plant4Mother” campaign, initiated on World Environment Day, to promote tree plantation.

Addressing India’s AI mission, “AI for All,” Modi stressed that AI should promote progress and well-being. He noted India’s role as a founding member of the Global Partnership for AI and emphasized international collaboration.

Celebrating the G7’s 50th anniversary, Modi expressed satisfaction in attending the summit post his re-election, and shared India’s success in utilizing digital technology for public services, advocating for a human-centric approach to technology.

The Italian Prime Minister, in her opening remarks, emphasized the importance of global cooperation, respect, and peer-to-peer engagement to tackle global challenges like AI, energy, and issues concerning Africa and the Mediterranean.

Modi held bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the sidelines of the summit. With Kishida, Modi affirmed prioritizing India-Japan ties in his third term and reviewed collaborative projects like the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail and the India-Japan Industrial Competitiveness Partnership.

In discussions with Meloni, Modi explored enhancing defence and security cooperation, clean energy, manufacturing, space, AI, and critical minerals. They celebrated the signing of an MoU on Industrial Property Rights and a Letter of Intent for Cooperation in Energy Transition. Both leaders also stressed the need for early implementation of the Migration and Mobility Agreement to facilitate professional and academic exchanges.

Earlier, Modi engaged with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He also met with US President Joe Biden, reaffirming India-US cooperation, and King Abdullah II of Jordan, appreciating strong bilateral ties. Modi’s meeting with Pope Francis highlighted his admiration for the Pope’s dedication to service and environmental sustainability, and he extended an invitation to visit India.

Additionally, Modi met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Brazil President Lula da Silva, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, strengthening India’s global diplomatic relations.

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Italy: good evening everyone, and thank you very much for accepting the invitation to participate in the G7 Outreach session here in Puglia under the Italian Presidency.

We didn’t choose this place by chance, we chose it because Puglia is a southern region of Italy and because it is a land that has historically represented a bridge between West and East, a place of dialogue in the ‘middle sea’ that, through northern Africa and the Middle East, connects the two great maritime spaces of the globe: the Atlantic on one side and the Indo-Pacific on the other.

This place and this wide outreach that we wanted to invite are a clear message from the G7 under the Italian Presidency. We will never accept the narrative that wants the ‘West against the rest’. We know we can only deal with the global challenges we are facing if we are able to cooperate with respect and with a peer-to-peer approach. Among the many global challenges that we are called on to face in this period, we decided to dedicate the Outreach session to those that we consider very pressing: Artificial Intelligence first of all, with the opportunities it opens up and the risks it hides; the Mediterranean, an area of crisis and a place of dialogue; the African continent, with which we work to build a completely new cooperation as equals; and, obviously, the need to deal without ideological approaches with climate change, which impacts above all on the nations of the Global South.

We will have two keynote speakers to start our work. His Holiness Pope Francis, who gave us the great honour to participate in our working session and will share with us his point of view on Artificial Intelligence. It is the first time that a Pontiff participates in a meeting of the Group of Seven, and this inevitably makes today’s appointment a historic moment. So, I will never thank you enough for being here, Your Holiness.

Then we will have His Excellency Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani, President of Mauritania and rotating Chair of the African Union, who will bring the point of view of African nations on the expectations of the continent.

I’ll stop here. Thank you again, Your Holiness. The floor is yours.

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