Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape (R) welcoming India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi by touching Modi's feet/NDTV
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea for talks with Pacific leaders, the first visit by an Indian premier to the island nation as India seeks to counter growing Chinese regional influence.
He landed just in the capital Port Moresby. At the airport, in an unprecedented break of protocol, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape touched the feet of Modi when he landed.
He will co-host the Summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation on Monday with Marape and other Pacific island leaders.
Bharatiya Janata Party national spokesperson Sambit Patra called it a “remarkable gesture”. “…the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea pays respects to the Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji by touching his feet. This profound visual exemplifies India’s growth and influence under the leadership of PM Modi,” Patra tweeted.
Another BJP spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill also reacted to the video. “As they say respect is earned & this video of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape greeting PM Modi shows India’s strength, respect in world under strong well meaning leadership of PM @narendramodi Ji . Jai Hind,” Shergill tweeted.
On Monday, Modi and Marape will host the third summit of the Forum for India–Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). The summit will take place at a time when China is making efforts to enhance its military and diplomatic influence in the region.
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)