New Delhi: There are no “plans” of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting at Davos next week, the external affairs ministry said today.
The annual meet of the WEF would be beginning on 22 January. Modi would address the opening plenary on 23 January.
“As far as I am concerned there are no plans for meeting with the Pakistan Prime Minister,” Secretary (Economic Relations) at the External Affairs Ministry Vijay Gokhale told reporters here.
He was responding to a query on whether Modi would be meeting his Pakistani counterpart as the latter would also be there at WEF on the same day.
The relations between India and Pakistan are strained following series of attacks by Pakistan-based terror groups and incidents of ceasefire violations, causing casualties on both sides.
When asked whether Modi would be meeting US President Donald Trump, he said the two will not be there on the same day.
This would be Modi’s first Davos visit and also the first by an Indian prime minister since the one by HD Deve Gowda in 1997. In case of Trump, he would be the first US President to attend since Bill Clinton in 2000.
To a question on whether Modi is sending a message by not meeting Trump at the event, which has the theme of ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’, Gokhale said there were never any plans for the two leaders to meet.
“Besides, this is a multilateral event and the Prime Minister’s central message will be that we are an economy that can be an engine of global growth. We want others to participate in our growth and we also want to participate in others’ growth,” he said.
There were never any plans for the two leaders to meet and therefore whether they are present at the same event and are not meeting is not important, he said, adding, “Our focus has always been in a global economy that is open and inclusive”.