PM Modi arrived in Stockholm where he was received by his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be travelling to three nations as part of his Europe tour, began his five-day journey with Sweden on Monday evening. He was welcomed by his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven, who, too, broke protocol to receive PM Modi at the airport. This is the first prime ministerial visit from India to Sweden in 30 years. In 1988, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had visited Sweden with his wife Sonia and children Rahul and Priyanka. PM Modi has met King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf in the morning. He will have a bilateral with PM Lofven next. A number of agreements are expected to be signed after that. Later in the night, PM Modi will leave for Britain for bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May and his "Bharat Ki Baat" event London tomorrow.
Here is a 10-point guide to PM Modi's three-nation tour:
- India and Sweden will co-host the first-ever India-Nordic Summit today, where the prime ministers of four Nordic countries -- Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway -- will be present. PM Modi will hold separate bilateral meetings with the leaders of these countries.
- PM Modi and PM Lofven will interact with top business leaders of both the countries and chart out a future roadmap of cooperation in sectors such as trade and investment, science and technology, clean energy and smart cities.
- "India and Sweden share warm and friendly ties. Our partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based global order. Sweden is a valuable partner in our development initiatives," PM Modi had said before his departure in New Delhi.
- After wrapping up the summit in Sweden, PM Modi will fly to the UK to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), besides holding bilateral talks with his British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday.
- PM Modi will spend four days in London when he will meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace, hold trade talks, sign around a dozen agreements and interact with the world during his much-talked about diaspora event, "Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath", which is being billed as the centrepiece of the "Living Bridge" theme of the India-UK bilateral visit.
- PM Modi will take questions at the event which will be telecast live from the iconic Central Hall Westminster near the UK Parliament. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend the event. Besides topics received through the NaMo app, questions will also be accepted from the audience.
- Among other issues, PM Modi is expected to talk on the horrific crimes - Kathua rape and murder; Surat rape and murder; and Unnao rape involving a BJP lawmaker - that made screaming headlines in the country.
- In the meeting with Theresa May at 10 Downing Street before the formal deliberations as part of the multilateral Commonwealth summit on Thursday, the two world leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, including cross-border terrorism, visa and immigration.
- PM Modi's London schedule is packed with a visit to the Science Museum for the '5000 Years of Science and Innovation' exhibition; Basaveshwara statue on the banks of the river Thames; the launch of a new Ayurvedic Centre of Excellence and an event to highlight the India-UK technical collaboration where Prince Charles will drive in in an electric Jaguar.
- Before his return, PM Modi will stop over in Germany on Friday to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "During his visit, PM will meet Chancellor Merkel and the two leaders will exchange views on a number of bilateral, regional and global issues," the Foreign ministry said.
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