PM Modi may meet Biden on Sept 24 before Quad summit
- Modi will first have separate bilateral meetings with comprehensive strategic partners Japan and Australia on September 23, officials based in Washington and New Delhi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden on September 24, followed by a meeting of the Quad leaders at the White House, with focus on Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the climate crisis, according to people aware of the matter.
Modi will first have separate bilateral meetings with comprehensive strategic partners Japan and Australia on September 23, officials based in Washington and New Delhi said. With Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, PM Modi will advance the shared objective of an open, free, prosperous, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region as India steps up its engagement through various initiatives, the officials said on condition of anonymity.
India has two-plus-two dialogues with all its three Quad partners, with the first India-Australia dialogue held in New Delhi on September 11.
On September 24, Modi will first hold a bilateral dialogue with US Vice President Kamala Harris followed by the first dialogue in person with President Joe Biden. This will be followed by the Quad summit. All the engagements will be held at the White House.
Just as PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with all three Quad partners, other leaders are also expected to hold bilateral meetings before converging for the summit, the people quoted above said. External affairs minister S Jaishankar is leaving for the US on September 20 to attend the United Nations General Assembly and prepare the groundwork for the Quad Summit. There is no meeting scheduled between Quad foreign ministers.
While the Indian PM will deepen bilateral cooperation in political, economic, security and defence matters with all three leaders, the Quad summit will focus on the situation in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Despite commitments to the US of an inclusive regime during the Doha process, the Taliban government is full of UN-designated terrorists, exclusive to the Sunni Pashtun group, with no space for either women or minorities. The Taliban government is also working contrary to the UNSC resolution 2593 passed on August 30, 2021.
The Quad is expected to come out with a statement on the Indo-Pacific, where the rule of law and United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea will be emphasised upon, the officials said. The Quad’s vision of the Indo-Pacific is anchored in the Asean architecture, freedom of navigation, and rejects the nine-dash line claims of China in the South China Sea.
The Quad leaders will also deliberate on the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which originated in China, and review the production and availability of vaccines for the world. The climate crisis will also be on the bilateral agenda as well as the Quad agenda, the officials said. Jaishankar hosted the US Climate Change envoy John Kerry on September 13.