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PM Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis to visit India in their first-ever one-to-one meeting

Rome: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited Pope Francis to visit India as he called on the head of the Catholic Church at the Va...


Rome: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday invited Pope Francis to visit India as he called on the head of the Catholic Church at the Vatican in their first-ever one-to-one meeting.

At the Vatican, Modi was accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

In 2016, Francis said he was "almost sure" of visiting India the following year along with Bangladesh. But Indian Catholic Church leaders failed to convince Modi, who heads a nationalist administration, to invite him.

The last pope to visit India was John Paul II, who went to New Delhi in 1999 to issue a papal document on the Church in Asia.

"Had a very warm meeting with Pope Francis. I had the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with him and also invited him to visit India," Modi said on Twitter on Saturday.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said the invitation was for the pope "to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure".

A Vatican statement gave no details of the meeting between Francis and Modi, the first between a pope and an Indian prime minister in more than two decades. Modi is in Rome to attend the G20 summit of the world's richest countries.

At the time the 2017 visit fell through, Church officials said the Indian government had cited scheduling problems for the prime minister. Francis visited Myanmar and Bangladesh instead.

The last Indian prime minister to meet a pope was Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who met John Paul II at the Vatican in 2000.

The Indian Foreign Ministry said Modi and Francis also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

-News Feed

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Local Glob: PM Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis to visit India in their first-ever one-to-one meeting
PM Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis to visit India in their first-ever one-to-one meeting
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