The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday, 11 May, said that owing to the COVID situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would not be travelling to the United Kingdom to take part in the G7 Summit, where he was to be a special invitee.
“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 G7 Summit in person,” a statement from the MEA spokesperson said on Tuesday.
India, along with Australia and South Korea, had been invited by the United Kingdom to attend the G7 summit, to be held in Cornwall in June 2021. This would have been the first in-person meeting of the grouping in two years.
PM Modi had taken part in the G7 summit in France in August 2019; however, the 2020 Summit in the US was cancelled over the pandemic.
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar attended the G7 foreign ministers’ summit in London from 3-5 May, but the entire Indian delegation was asked to self-isolate after some of its members tested positive for COVID-19.
In a virtual meeting between UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 May, India and the UK had agreed to begin formal talks on a free trade deal next month.
This would have been PM Modi’s second foreign visit this year, after a trip to Bangladesh earlier this year for the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations.