PM Narendra Modi leaves for a seven-day tour of Ireland and US (Press Trust of India photo)
New York: In the first summit of its kind in more than ten years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a power-packed special summit on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in US to push for a permanent seat for India on the global body's Security Council.
On Saturday morning, just before he leaves for the West Coast, PM Modi will host German Chancellor Angela Merkel, often described as the most powerful woman on the planet, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York at a summit of what is known as the G-4 group. All four countries back each other's bid for permanent seats at the UN Security Council.
The high-octane summit hosted by India will come against the backdrop of a breakthrough agreement at the United Nations last week on a text that will form the basis for all future negotiations on UN reforms and the expansion of the Security Council, in particular.
Over the years, the meetings of the G-4 have normally been attended by the foreign ministers of the four countries. The decision to elevate it to the heads of state this time was taken by PM Modi in consultation with Japanese PM Abe.
Mr Abe is specially flying into New York for the summit that is scheduled to begin at 8 am (local time) on Saturday, September 26.
Indian diplomats say that the protests by China and Pakistan have been successfully circumvented in the drafting of the text. Sources say it is the American response that has been disappointing - the US did not even attend a special meeting to mark 70 years of the United Nations that was held in San Francisco.
Speaking to NDTV, Asoke Mukerji, India's permanent representative at the UN said, "All India, the world's oldest democracy is pushing for is greater democratization of the United Nations."