Modi to meet world leaders on G7 sidelines

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Modi to hold talks with President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen…reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a diplomatically packed second day in Germany on Monday. PM Modi, who landed in Munich on Sunday, will receive a grand welcome in a ceremony at 12 noon local time by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at Schloss Elmau. He will attend a plenary session at 12.30 pm on the topic – “Investing in a Better Future: Climate, Energy, Health.”

Later during the day, PM will be holding marathon meetings with President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, and President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. Later in the evening, PM Modi will also meet the President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Modi held a productive meeting with Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez  in Munich on the sidelines of the G7 Summit on Sunday and reviewed the full range of the bilateral ties. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed various issues like trade and investment, defence cooperation, agriculture, climate action and food security.

Modi also addressed the Indian diaspora in Munich, Germany. During his speech, he said, “Today is June 26 which is also known as the day when India’s democracy that’s in DNA of every Indian was trampled and suppressed 47 years ago. Emergency was a black spot on the vibrant history of India’s democracy.”

The Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to Germany during which he will attend the G7 summit and discuss issues like energy, food security, counter-terrorism, environment and democracy with the leaders of the powerful bloc and its partner countries. The Group of Seven countries is set to announce a ban on Russian gold imports amid the war in Ukraine, US President Joe Biden said on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

After the G-7 summit, PM Modi will be traveling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He will pay his personal condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former UAE President, and Abu Dhabi Ruler.

G7 leaders mock Putin

World leaders mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tough-man image at a G7 lunch in Germany on Sunday, joking about whether they should strip down to shirtsleeves — or even less.

“Jackets on? Jackets off? Do we take our coats off?” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked as he sat down at the table in Bavaria’s picturesque Elmau Castle, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz was hosting the summit of seven powerful democracies.

The leaders — from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the European Union — pondered the dilemma.

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, suggested they wait for the official picture before disrobing but then Johnson quipped “We have to show that we’re tougher than Putin” and the joke kept rolling.

“We’re going to get the bare-chested horseback riding display,” Trudeau said, referring to Putin’s infamous 2009 photo-op of himself riding shirtless on a horse.

“Horseback riding is the best,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, without apparently weighing in on the clothing issue itself.

Johnson interjected: “We’ve got to show them our pecs.”

The leaders posed — jackets on — for photos before reporters were hustled out of the room, leaving the sartorial debate behind closed doors.

Leaders discuss price cap on Russian oil

Leaders of Group of Seven (G7) nations have discussed plans to cap the price of Russian oil in order to put the squeeze on Moscow, which is benefiting from soaring energy prices, and cut off its means of financing the invasion of Ukraine.

The United States has suggested a price cap decided by consuming countries, a proposal that was discussed on Sunday by the G7 leaders at a summit in the Bavarian Alps.

Western countries rallied around Kyiv when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but more than four months into the war, that unity is being tested as soaring inflation and energy shortages rebound on their own citizens.

Chided by Ukraine for not going far enough to punish Russia, G7 leaders were having “really constructive” talks on a possible price cap on Russian oil, a German government source was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency.

“We are on a good path to reach an agreement,” the official said.

A French presidency official said Paris would push for a price cap on oil and gas and was open to discussing the US proposal.

However, he said the G7 needed to work towards getting a maximum oil price and this needed the buy-in of oil producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in a group called OPEC+, which includes Russia.

“We need to have discussions with OPEC+ and producing countries to achieve this,” the official said.

The European Union, which plans to ban imports of most Russian oil from the end of the year, has reservations about a US push for a broad oil price cap or “price exception” to restrict Moscow’s energy revenue.

A price exception could work through a mechanism to restrict or ban insurance or financing for Russian oil shipments above a certain amount.

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