Modi to meet Obama during G-20 summit in China; terrorism, NSG on cards

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 29, 2016 23:00 IST
US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Oval Office of White House in Washington. (AP File Photo)

US President Barack Obama will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit at Hangzhou, China, on September 4-5 for bilateral discussions on several issues, including terrorism and expansion of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG).

South Block sources said the two leaders are also likely to discuss economic and defence relations besides the agenda before the multilateral forum.

The bilateral meeting was finalised after the two-day visit of the US deputy national security adviser Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo to New Delhi, where he met finance minister Arun Jaitley, power minister Piyush Goyal besides senior officials at the Prime Minister’s Office and external affairs ministry.

Adeyemo, who reports to the US’ national security adviser Susan Rice, handles economic relations at the National Security Council.

Adeyemo visit comes ahead of the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in New Delhi on August 30-31. US secretary of state John Kerry and commerce secretary Penny Pritzker will lead the American delegation to the dialogue.

Sources also said that defence minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to visit the US next month for a meeting with his counterpart Ashton Carter. The dates are being worked out at the official level.

During Parrikar’s visit, India and US are likely to sign the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) at the ambassador level as well as carry forward discussions on India acquiring long-distance, high-altitude armed drones from American defence majors. The agreement will allow both countries to share each other’s military facilities for replenishment of supplies.

While the Indian PM and US President have met on the sidelines of G-20 dialogue in the past, the Hangzhou bilateral meeting indicates a strong multilateral agenda as well the need for the two countries to keep up the momentum set in the June meeting, officials said.

The meeting is expected to be significant as it comes after an international tribunal’s ruling against China on the South China Sea as well as Beijing’s continued opposition to India’s entry into the NSG.

“The Modi-Obama meeting will be with officials of both sides. The two leaders will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping separately,” said a senior South Block official.

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