Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday embarked on a five-day visit to Sweden and the United Kingdom where he will hold discussions with the leaders of the two countries in a number of areas including trade, investment and clean energy.In the first leg of his visit, Modi will travel to Sweden’s capital Stockholm where he will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, besides attending an India-Nordic Summit. He will have a brief stopover in Berlin on April 20 on his way back home.Ahead of his visit, Modi on Sunday said he was looking forward to deepening bilateral engagement with both the countries.”India and Sweden share warm and friendly ties. Our partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rule-based global order. Sweden is a valuable partner in our development initiatives,” Modi said in a Facebook post.The two Prime Ministers will hold bilateral talks on Tuesday.The Prime Minister said he would also call on King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf.India and Sweden will also jointly organise the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm on Tuesday which is scheduled to be attended by the Prime Ministers of Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.This is the first visit in 30 years by an Indian Prime Minister to Sweden. In an exceptional gesture, Swedish PM will receive Modi at the airport. “An exceptional gesture is being made by Sweden. Swedish PM will go, for the first time ever, to receive any foreign dignitary at the airport. We are proud of the fact that he will be there to receive our PM,” Monika Kapil Mohta, Indian ambassador to Sweden and Latvia, said. From Sweden, Modi will travel to the UK on Tuesday where he will also attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), besides holding bilateral talks with his British counterpart Theresa May.Modi said he would also call on the Queen, interact briefly with CEOs of the two nations who are working on a new agenda of economic partnership, launch an Ayurveda Centre of Excellence in London, and welcome the UK into the International Solar Alliance, as its newest member.On April 19 and 20, Modi will participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting being hosted by the UK which will take over as the new Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth from Malta.The External Affairs Ministry has said that Modi would meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a brief stopover in Berlin on April 20 after concluding his visits to Sweden and the United Kingdom. (With PTI inputs)

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PM Modi embarks on five-day visit to Sweden and UK