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India keeps options open on Modi-Abe summit venue

With the annual Japan-India summit scheduled to start on Sunday, the government is yet to ‘officially’ finalise the venue. While a final call on moving it away from Assam has not been taken, officials said latest assessment of the security situation would be taken into consideration.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 13, 2019, 08.18 AM IST
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In a dated picture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being welcomed by his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe at G20 Summit Osaka, Japan
New Delhi: India is keeping its options open on the venue for hosting the annual prime ministers-level bilateral summit with Japan. Officials said a contingency plan was in place in case the situation in Guwahati wasn’t conducive to the high-level visit, with arrangements in place to host the event in Delhi.

With the annual Japan-India summit scheduled to start on Sunday, the government is yet to ‘officially’ finalise the venue. While a final call on moving it away from Assam has not been taken, officials said latest assessment of the security situation would be taken into consideration.

For the record, the external affairs ministry said that it had “no updates to share on the matter at this stage”. In the run-up to any high-level visit, contingency plans are always ready, officials said.

The Assam government, however, is confident that the meetings — to be attended by Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe — will go on as scheduled. A senior Assam government official told ET: “The programme is on and the PM is coming.”

A Confederation of Indian Industry official, one of the associates of the event, said preparations have been made with the assumption that the visit would happen. “Preparation for the programme is almost over. While PMs of both countries will arrive on December 15, next day there will be Indo-Japan business meeting in the day and, in the evening, both PMs will address a gathering.”

As per the schedule, both PMs are set to visit on December 17 Peace Museum in Manipur capital Imphal. The museum commemorates one of the fiercest battles of World War-2 in 1944 in which thousands of Japanese soldiers were killed.


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