Visit an opportunity to consolidate ties, says PM Modi before leaving for US
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday his visit to the US is an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral comprehensive global strategic partnership and to consolidate ties with two strategic partners, Japan and Australia.
In a statement issued to coincide with his departure for Washington, Modi said he will review the India-US partnership with President Joe Biden and participate in the maiden in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit with Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
Modi, who will be in the US during September 22-25, will have separate meetings with US vice president Kamala Harris, Morrison and Suga, and hold talks with leading American businesspeople in Washington. He will travel to New York to address the UN General Assembly session on September 25.
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This is Modi’s first foreign visit beyond the immediate neighbourhood since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. He made his first foreign visit this year to Bangladesh in March. He will be joined in the US by a high-level delegation that includes external affairs minister S Jaishankar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary Harsh Shringla.
“During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest,” Modi said in the statement.
“My visit to the US would be an occasion to strengthen the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with USA, consolidate relations with our strategic partners – Japan and Australia – and to take forward our collaboration on important global issues,” he said.
The Quad Summit will be an opportunity to “take stock of the outcomes of our virtual summit in March...and identify priorities for future engagements based on our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region”, he added.
Modi said he was looking forward to meeting Harris to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation, particularly in science and technology.
He noted that his address at the UN General Assembly will focus on pressing global challenges, including the pandemic, the need to combat terrorism and climate change.
The situation in Afghanistan and its impact on extremism and terrorism, China’s assertive actions across the region and ways to enhance India-US cooperation in areas such as defence, trade and energy are expected to figure in the prime minister’s interactions in the US.
New Delhi is looking forward to substantial outcomes from the Quad Summit because India currently has strong strategic partnerships with all the three other members of the grouping, especially the relationship with Australia, which has been upgraded with the forging of a comprehensive strategic partnership and the holding of the maiden 2+2 dialogue of defence and foreign ministers.
Besides taking forward the vaccine partnership unveiled at the first virtual Quad Summit, the Indian side is expecting progress on collaboration in new and emerging technologies, including the setting of standards and norms, and measures to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific against the backdrop of China’s aggressive actions.