NEW DELHI: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Davos for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meet on January 23, the Minister of External Affairs (MEA) has refuted all rumours of any meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
“No meeting has been planned between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Pakistan in Davos,” said Vijay Gokhale, MEA Secretary (Economic Relations) while addressing the media on Friday.
Pakistan PM Abbasi and Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto are also scheduled to attend the annual WEF meet next week.
With tensions soaring between India and Pakistan over the last few months, rumours of the two Prime Ministers holding a dialogue on the sidelines of the WEF meet emerged.
“Prime Minister's upcoming visit to Davos is very short,” said Gokhale, adding, “It will be only for 24 hours and will be very focused. This is a sign that we engage with the globe.”
The WEF annual meeting will be held over four days – from January 23 and 26. This year, the theme of the meet is 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'. The event will be attended by over 2,500 participants, including top global, political and business leaders and over 60 heads of states and chief executives of top companies.
PM Modi, who will be meeting the movers and shakers of the business world at the meet, is expected to hard sell India as an investment destination.
He will also deliver a keynote speech at the plenary session of the WEF.
He will also have a bilateral meeting with Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation on January 22.
This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the WEF since the earlier one by Deve Gowda in 1997.
The Indian delegation includes Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region of India Jitendra Singh.
With ANI inputs