Port Moresby, May 21: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on Sunday, a rare moment was seen at the Port Moresby airport where PNG Prime Minister James Marape touched his feet and sought his blessings.
PM Modi arrived in the Indo-Pacific country on the second leg of his three-country visit.
Upon PM Modi’s arrival, the Indian national anthem was played and the two prime ministers stood still in respect. PM Modi was also accorded a guard of honour on his arrival.
This is PM Modi’s first tour to PNG, as well as the first-ever visit by any Indian Prime Minister to the Indo-Pacific country.
Usually, Papua New Guinea doesn’t give a ceremonial welcome to any leader coming after sunset. But the nation made a special exception for PM Modi, and a fully studded ceremonial welcome was given to him.
A traditional folk dance performance was also staged outside the airport to welcome PM Modi to PNG.
During his Papua New Guinea visit, PM Modi is set to co-chair the 3rd Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC III Summit) on Monday. PM Modi’s Papua New Guinea counterpart James Marape will also be there.
The FIPIC Summit will see participation from leaders of 14 countries. Normally all of them rarely converge together due to connectivity and other issues.
FIPIC was launched during PM Modi’s visit to Fiji in 2014.
Apart from the FIPIC engagements, PM Modi will also have bilateral interactions with Papua New Guinea Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae, Prime Minister Marape and some of the other PIC Leaders participating in the Summit.
After his visit to Papua New Guinea, PM Modi will travel to Sydney at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
On Sunday, PM Modi wrapped up his fruitful visit to Japan and departed for Papua New Guinea.
The Prime Minister is on a six-day visit to three countries -- Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia from May 19 to 24.