Highlights:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden on Friday during his three days trip to the United States
  • PM Modi met US Vice President Kamala Harris and acknowledged her as a ‘real friend’ for having India’s back during the COVID -19 crisis
  • On Friday, Biden and Modi will chair a “Quad” summit with the leaders of Australia and Japan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet US President Joe Biden on Friday during his three days trip to the United States. The two leaders are expected to exchange their views about the situation in Afghanistan along with other bilateral issues. It will be the Prime Minister’s first meeting with Joe Biden after he became US President in January.

On Thursday, PM Narendra Modi met US Vice President Kamala Harris and acknowledged her as a ‘real friend’ for having India’s back during the COVID -19 crisis. He further referred to her as an “inspiration”, a leader who is like “family”. He added, “The oldest democracy and the largest democracy. We are indeed natural partners; we have similar values.”

On the same day, the Prime Minister met his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison. The Australian Prime Minister termed the meeting as “productive” and affirmed that both the leaders are eyeing to strengthen the partnership between both the countries. Following the discussion, Morrison tweeted, “Great to meet with my good friend and a great friend of Australia, Indian PM Narendra Modi, during my visit to the US.”

Narendra Modi also met his Japanese counterpart, Yoshihide Suga and had a “fruitful” meeting in Washington where they exchanged views on multiple issues involving ways to facilitate further impetus to trade and cultural ties. The Prime Minister Office (PMO) tweeted, “Furthering friendship with Japan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yoshihide Suga had a fruitful meeting in Washington.”

On Friday, Biden and Modi will chair a “Quad” summit with the leaders of Australia and Japan, aiming to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region amidst China’s growing dominance in the area. A senior US administration informed that the first in-person meeting of leaders of the quad group countries namely, the United States, Japan, Australia and India will yield progress in several areas including health, infrastructure and cyber.

The official further elaborated that the leaders of the quad countries will also discuss issues related to regional security. He emphasized that security was not the focus of the informal grouping that has come together in response to China’s growing power. He continued that the summit at the White House “will have much to say” about the next steps on vaccines for the Indo-Pacific region.

The official voiced, “We have what we call deliverables in infrastructure, on border health engagements on science and technology on space, on cyber.” He added, “Obviously, there have been challenges in India over the course of summer. But we believe that it will be important to meet the ambitions that we laid out in time.” He described the summit as “historic”.

PM Modi’s US visit will conclude on September 25 with an address at the United Nations General Assembly concentrating on the ongoing global challenges involving COVID -19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change, and other important issues.

The Prime Minister’s last visit to the US was in September 2019 when he and then US President Donald Trump, a Republican, addressed the high profile Howdy-Modi event in Houston. Following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, this is the PM’s first visit beyond the neighborhood.

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