Italian prime minister arrives in India, to attend Raisina Dialogue

Modi and Meloni are scheduled to hold talks on bilateral, regional and global issues Thursday afternoon

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday as she arrived on a state visit, seeking closer ties in the defence and economic sectors.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Meloni at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, where she was accorded a tri-services guard of honour.

Modi and Meloni are scheduled to hold talks on bilateral, regional and global issues Thursday afternoon.

"Both sides will take stock of the progress on the key outcomes of the November 2020 Summit, strengthen security and defence cooperation, work towards closer economic ties, enhance opportunity for mobility of talent and give strategic guidance to ongoing collaboration in science and technology," a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry said ahead of the visit.

Meloni was received at the airport by Minister of State for Health Bharti Pawar.

The Italian prime minister is being accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and a high-powered business delegation.

Meloni will also be the chief guest and keynote speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue, which will get underway in the evening.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will call on the Italian prime minister as well.

India and Italy are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

The multifaceted bilateral relationship is based on shared cultural values, commitment to foster economic growth, collaboration in the fields of green energy, science and technology, defence and marked by convergence on regional and global issues, the External Affairs Ministry said.

The two countries have also been cooperating closely in various multilateral forums, it added.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will co-chair a business roundtable on Thursday.

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