Sweden rolled out the red carpet for Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven personally welcoming him at the airport. A rare gesture for this is the first time that the Swedish PM has welcomed any foreign dignitary personally at the airport.
Modi, who is first Indian Prime Minister to visit Sweden in 30 years, will be holding bilateral talks with the Swedish PM. Later in his visit, he will address the first India-Nordic summit and also hold talks with leaders of other Nordic countries.
On a five-day three-nation tour, Prime Minister Modi also met with people of the Indian community upon arrival at Sweden.
India is working to strengthen Sweden’s role as a key partner especially in innovation and defence. Several agreements are expected to be signed following the talks. Ahead of his visit, Prime Minister Modi had said that Sweden is a valuable partner in India’s development initiatives.
The two prime ministers will then attend a round table with Swedish CEOs. The big event, however, will be the first India-Nordic countries summit slated to take place later on Tuesday.
The summit titled “India-Nordic Summit – Shared Values Mutual Prosperity”, is a meeting with all heads of governments of five Nordic countries including Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
Cooperation in Technology, investment and defence will be part of the main agenda. India needs the cooperation of Nordic nations in United Nations and at other international forums. Modi will also hold separate bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the other four Nordic countries.
From Sweden, PM Modi will travel to the UK, where he will hold bilateral talks with his British counterpart Theresa May.
On April 19 and 20, PM Modi will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being hosted by the UK which will take over as the new Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth from Malta.
After concluding his visits to Sweden and the UK, the PM will also make a brief stopover in London and meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 20.