Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to the UK for the G-7 summit in June, the government said today.
PM Modi was to be a special invitee to the G-7 summit in Cornwall on June 11-13 at UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s invitation.
“While appreciating the invitation to the Prime Minister by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the G7 Summit as a Special Invitee, given the prevailing COVID situation, it has been decided that the Prime Minister will not attend the G-7 Summit in person,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson.
US President Joe Biden is to attend the meeting of the G-7, which brings together the world’s most advanced economies – UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. This will be the first in-person summit of the grouping in two years.
The G-7 leaders are expected to discuss shared challenges including the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on global economies.
The UK Prime Minister had invited India as a guest, along with Australia and South Korea.
PM Modi had attended the G-7 summit in France in August 2019 and was invited to the 2020 summit in the US, which was cancelled because of the coronavirus.
In January, a UK statement had said: “As ‘pharmacy of the world’, India already supplies more than 50% of the world’s vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic. Our prime ministers speak regularly and Prime Minister Johnson has said he will visit India ahead of the G-7.”
But Mr Johnson cancelled in visit in April – he had earlier put off his visit when he was to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations – over the Covid situation.
India is reporting the world’s highest daily average of new Covid infections and deaths. The number of cases in a day has been above 3 lakh for nearly three weeks.
The UK, on the other hand, has eased its virus lockdown and has allowed people to hug close family and friends and meet indoors at pubs, restaurants and cinemas from next week.