Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a one-on-one meeting with Pope Francis on Saturday in Vatican City ahead of the delegation-level talks during which they are expected to discuss a range of areas of interests in terms of the general global perspectives and issues such as COVID-19.
"The Prime Minister will have a separate call. He will be meeting his Holiness on a one-on-one basis. And that could, after a certain period of time, be followed up by delegation-level talks," Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Friday while briefing the details of the Prime Minister's engagements in Italy.
Mr Shringla said the Vatican has not set any agenda for the talks. "I believe tradition is not to have an agenda when you discuss issues with His Holiness. And I think we respect that. I''m sure the issues that will be covered would cover a range of areas of interests in terms of the general global perspectives and issues that are important to all of us," he said.
"COVID-19, health issues, how we can work together...and this is something that, I think would be the general trend in the discussions," he added.
In his departure statement on Thursday, PM Modi said he will be visiting Rome and the Vatican City from October 29-31.
"During my visit to Italy, I will also visit the Vatican City, to call on His Holiness Pope Francis and meet Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin," PM Modi said.
From Rome, PM Modi will travel to Glasgow, the UK, at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
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