UK PM’s India visit: Times when PM Modi hosted foreign dignitaries outside Delhi

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will start his India visit from Ahmedabad on April 21 and is set to become the first British Prime Minister to visit Gujarat. Johnson may also visit Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram before meeting his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on April 22 in Delhi to discuss strategic defence, diplomacy and economic partnership.

His India visit is important in the backdrop of Russian invasion of Ukraine that has led to some divergences in Delhi’s and London’s positions on the crisis.

This is not the first time that Modi will be hosting foreign dignitaries outside the national capital Delhi, which earlier used to be the norm. Since 2014, when PM Modi assumed office, dignitaries from across the world have experienced firsthand the diversity of Indian hospitality in different parts of the country.

READ | PM Modi likely to meet leaders of Germany, Denmark, France next month

On September 17, 2014 Chinese President Xi Jinping was first to be received by PM Modi in Ahmedabad. PM Modi and Xi Jinping sat on a traditional swing on the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.

Here are some of the heads of state and foreign dignitaries who were hosted outside Delhi.

Donald Trump, US President: In February 2020, when the then US President Donald Trump visited India he was hosted in Ahmedabad upon his arrival to take part in Namaste Trump event held on 24 and 25 February.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portuguese President: From February 13 to 16, 2020 Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited Mumbai, Goa and attended the ‘India Portugal Business Forum’ there.

Xi Jinping, Chinese President: In October 2019, the 2nd informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Modi took place at Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram, where they also visited some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Emmanuel Macron, French President: In March 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron during his India trip visited Varanasi, which is Modi’s parliamentary constituency, in Uttar Pradesh with PM Modi.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of then US President Donald Trump: On November 28, 2017, Ivanka Trump was hosted in Hyderabad for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit during her visit to India.

Justin Trudeau, Canadian PM: On February 2021, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visited Golden Temple in Amritsar, Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat and Mumbai during his trip.

Shinzo Abe, Japanese PM: On September 13, 2017, Shinzo Abe Japanese PM and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi arrived in Ahmedabad and visited Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, which was built by the Gujarat Sultanate in the final year of its rule.

Francois Hollande, French President: On January 24, 2016, PM Modi hosted former French President Francois Hollande in Chandigarh, where they visited the Rock Garden.

Shinzo Abe, Japan PM: In December 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe attended the spectacular sunset Ganga Aarti at the fabled Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor: On October 6 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then German Chancellor Angela Merkel viewed a powerpoint presentation on Bosch operations in the country and walked through the innovation and vocational centres where research was being done on innovative projects and skill development is imparted to the company employees.

Xi Jinping, Chinese President: On September 17, 2014 Chinese President Xi Jinping was first to be received by the PM Modi in Ahmedabad instead of Delhi which earlier used to be the norm. PM Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping sat on a traditional swing on the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.

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