Png: In a special gesture, PNG PM receives Modi at airport | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for what is the first visit by an Indian PM to the country located in the southwestern Pacific.
According to a statement issued by the government, PNG Prime Minister James Marape, in a special gesture, received Modi at the airport. “A salute of 19 guns and Guard of Honour were accorded to PM Modi,” said the statement, adding that the visit underscored the close friendship of India with Pacific Island countries.
The visit comes at a time of growing Chinese footprints on the region. India sees its engagement with the 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs) as a part of its Act East Policy.
Modi will co-chair the third Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit on Monday before departing for Australia. While the first summit was held on Fiji in 2014, India hosted the second one in Jaipur the next year.
India has been providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) to the PICs from time to time and has also assisted various PICs with supply of Covid-19 vaccines and medicines during the pandemic.
“A major part of India’s engagement with PICs is through development assistance under South-South Cooperation that is mainly in the form of capacity building (training, scholarships, grant-in-aid and loan assistance) and community development projects,” said an official.

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