PM James Marape touches PM Modi’s feet during his visit to Papua New Guinea 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Papua New Guinea for the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). He received a special welcome on the Pacific Island nation as Prime Minister James Marape touched PM Modi's feet as a gesture of respect. 

PM James Marape touches PM Modi's feet during his visit to Papua New Guinea 
PM James Marape touches PM Modi's feet during his visit to Papua New Guinea 

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Papua New Guinea for the third summit of the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC). He received a special welcome on the Pacific Island nation as Prime Minister James Marape touched PM Modi’s feet as a gesture of respect. 

The protocol of Papua New Guinea barred them from giving any ceremonial welcome to any leader visiting the country after sunset. However, the situation turned out exceptional for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he arrived after 10 pm local time. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the nation. 

Prime Minister Modi took to Twitter and stated that he had reached Papua New Guinea. He expressed pleasure and gratitude to PM James Marape for coming to the airport and welcoming him with exceptional gestures. He also asserted that the countries would ensure to strengthen their ties with each other. 

After welcoming PM Modia, PM Marape hugged him, and further, the two paved the path to meeting other dignitaries who had come to welcome Prime Minister Modi. Sasindran Muthuvel, Governor of the West New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea, who was part of the team that received Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asserted that the gesture that is given by PM Marape to PM Modi is out of deep respect for the Indian PM.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded a 19-gun salute, guard of honour and ceremonial welcome apart from PM James Marape’s special gesture of receiving him at the airport, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

There are great diplomatic relations between India and the Pacific Islands Nations, as in 2021, Papua New Guinea received its first major shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from India. The nation was facing a massive health crisis with delays to its vaccination programme as the vaccine relied on supplies from the global COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme. Hence, India came into its location and served as a great helping hand for the nations. 

PM Modi visited the nation after his official visit to Japan, where he participated in G7 advanced economies. He held several bilateral meetings and talks with world leaders in Japan.