As PM Narendra Modi arrived in Papua New Guinea for talks with Pacific leaders marking the first visit by an Indian premier to the island nation, he was greeted at the airport by his counterpart James Marape, who in a surprise move, touched his feet. PM Modi is in the country to attend the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FPIC).
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra reacted to James Marape’s “remarkable gesture” for PM Modi tweeting, “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.”
Here are top points on Papua New Guinea PM James Marape:
- James Marape has been serving in the position since 2019 and belongs to the PANGU Pati political party.
- The 52-year-old especially made an exception for PM Modi and has not done the same for any other leader of the world.
- James Marape graduated with a Bachelor in Arts from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1993.
- He also has a Postgraduate Honours in Environmental Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
- He is the 8th prime minister of the island nation and has held many significant cabinet positions in governments in the past.
- He has also served as parliamentary secretary for works and transport, and been a part of the parliamentary referral committee on inter-government relations.
- He resigned from the People’s National Congress Party in 2019 and then joined the Pangu PATI.
- In 2020, there was an unsuccessful attempt to topple his government through a no-confidence motion, Guardian reported.
- Following the talks with James Marape, PM Modi tweeted, “James Marape and I had very productive talks, covering the full range of bilateral relations between India and Papua New Guinea. We discussed ways to augment cooperation in commerce, technology, healthcare and in addressing climate change.”