External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday embarked on a four-nation visit to Italy, France, Luxembourg and Belgium. Swaraj’s tour of the four European nations will “provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions with the political leadership on a wide range of global, regional and bilateral issues and advance India’s growing strategic engagement with the European Union.
On Sunday, Swaraj visited Italy. This was the first major political exchange between India and Italy following the swearing-in of Giuseppe Conte as the country’s new Prime Minister. On Monday, Swaraj will travel to France to review bilateral relations with Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. This will be the first important visit from the Indian side to France since the French president Emmanuel Macron’s trip to India in March.
Swaraj will also have meetings with Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Pierre Gramegna, the Minister of Finance. In Luxembourg, she will also interact with the Indian community. The Minister will be visiting Belgium from June 20-23. Swaraj will be meeting the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Didier Reynders. In Brussels, Swaraj will call on the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.
While in Brussels, Swaraj will deliver a keynote speech at a high-level event called ‘Climate, Peace and Security: Time for Action’. She is also scheduled to lead the International Yoga Day celebrations at the European Parliament and interact with the Indian community in Belgium.