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PM Narendra Modi to visit Japan next month; calender of visits busy

Friday, 6 June 2014 - 7:36pm IST | Agency: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Japan, a key strategic partner, next month as he embarks on a busy foreign travel schedule in coming months that will include Bhutan, Brazil and the US. The Prime Minister will be travelling to Bhutan later this month in his first foreign visit, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said today while noting that Modi's foreign policy inbox was "very crowded".

On visits to other countries, he said there was a request by Japanese government for an early visit of Modi to their country and India was working "very closely" with them to work on that request. Probed further, the Spokesperson said the month of Modi's visit to Japan was likely to be July. During his visit to Japan, Modi will hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on key bilateral and regional issues in the backdrop of China's growing assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.

India and Japan inked a "Strategic Global Partnership" in 2006 which is the foundation for the strengthening ties in diverse fields, including identifying key convergences. Modi has been enjoying a close equation with Japan as Gujarat Chief Minister with many Japanese companies making huge investments in the state. During his visit to the country in 2007, he galvanised Japanese investment into Gujarat.

Giving details of India's involvement at multilateral levels like BRICS, G-20, UNGA among others, the spokesperson said most of these are attended at the highest level from India, indicating that Modi may travel to Brazil for Summit of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) to be held in mid July. Asked if there will be an IBSA Summit also at that time, he merely said there was a talk of Brazil being host for both BRICS.

Referring to an invitation from the US for a Summit meeting between American President Barack Obama and Modi, he said Obama was among the first foreign leaders to make a congratulatory call to Modi during which a specific invitation was made. "We have received a specific date for the visit (from the US). We are now in contact with the US to work out mutually convenient date for Prime Minister to be in Washington for a Summit level meeting," the Spokesperson said. However, he did not give dates and only said that it will be in the month of September, at the time around the UN General Assembly.

Asked if all the issues pertaining to senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who was arrested and subsequently released on a bail in a visa fraud case in New York last year, were over, the Spokesperson said there were "residual issues" in this matter which were being attended at appropriate levels.

Asked about visit of Nisha Desai Biswal, the Obama administration's point person for South and Central Asia, from tomorrow, he said she was coming to hold regular official- level meeting with her counterpart, the Joint Secretary in Americas division of the MEA.


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