After plans to invite Pope Francis to India in 2017, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis.

The latest on the Group of Twenty summit in Rome

VATICAN CITY — After plans to invite Pope Francis to India in 2017, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pope Francis.

Modi extended the invitation to Modi Saturday at the Vatican during a long meeting before heading to Rome for the Group of 20 summit.

Modi tweeted: “Had an extremely warm meeting with Pope Francis. I was able to talk to him about a variety of topics and also invited him for a visit to India.

According to the Vatican’s official communique, Modi’s brief visit with the Vatican secretary of state was short and that only “the cordial relations between India and the Holy See were discussed.”

Francis had hoped that he would visit India and Bangladesh in 2017. After lengthy negotiations with the Indian government, Francis decided to travel instead to Bangladesh or Myanmar.


ROME — Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, has announced that the U.K. will donate 20,000,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccines to developing countries as part if its efforts to share vaccines with those countries who are severely lacking them.

Johnson made the announcement while he was arriving in Rome to attend a summit of leaders from Group of 20. The summit starts Saturday.

According to the U.K., 10 million doses of the UN-backed COVAX vaccine sharing program have been sent. Ten million more are expected to follow in the next few weeks.

These 10 million doses join the already delivered doses and are part of Britain’s commitment that it will share 100 million doses by 2022 with countries in need.

Johnson encouraged the club of economic power to push for the vaccination of the world by 2022. He stated that the G-20’s first priority must be to accelerate the equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide.

Britain and other wealthy countries have been accused of having more vaccines than they actually need. However, some countries, particularly in Africa, only have a few. Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister and a World Health Organization health envoy has called on the G-20 countries to accelerate their efforts to airlift unused doses to developing nations.

As he prepares for hosting a U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland starting Sunday, the British leader hopes to also focus the minds of G-20 leaders on climate commitments.