Cementing bilateral ties, stabilization of Afghanistan, counterterrorism, Indo-Pacific and climate change are expected to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes on a three-day visit to the US this week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, during their bilateral meeting on September 24 in Washington, are expected to discuss ways to stem radicalization and combat terrorism, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Modi and Biden are also expected to discuss ways to bolster defence and trade ties between the two countries, he added. “PM Modi and President Biden expected to discuss ways to stem radicalisation and combat terrorism. They are also expected to discuss ways to bolster defence and trade ties. Regional developments are also expected to figure in bilateral meeting,” Shringla said.
He added, “Modi and Biden will review the robust and multifaceted ties between the India and the US. They will also deliberate on ways to further enrich India-US global partnership.” As per a tentative schedule, PM Modi’s visit will take place between September 22-27. During his trip, the Prime Minister is expected to visit both Washington and New York.
PM Modi, Joe Biden to discuss ways to fight ‘common enemy terrorism’, says senior US official here in DC, adding that they would discuss ways to working together to fight a common enemy of terrorism. During a briefing, the official said: “This will be the first face-to-face meeting [of President Biden] with Prime Minister Modi on Friday, and it will be an opportunity to really step up from the perspective of our global partnership with India, working together to defend a free and open Indo-Pacific and our two countries were both essential in the global fight against COVID-19. And by taking conservative action to deal with the climate crisis. “
Biden will host Modi for their first in-person bilateral meeting at the White House on September 24. Later on the same day, Modi is expected to participate in the first in-person Quad — India, US, Australia, and Japan — leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24 being hosted by US President Joe Biden at the White House. Apart from addressing the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, the two sides will also be working on an ambitious agenda concerning the Indo-Pacific region.
A statement by White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that “President Biden is looking forward to welcoming to the White House Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan.” Modi will later address the General Debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 in New York. This will be Modi’s first visit to the United States since President Joe Biden assumed charge early this year. The two have met virtually on at least three occasions – the Quad summit in March, the climate change summit in April, and the G-7 summit in June this year.
Modi was supposed to travel to the UK for the G-7 summit where he could have met Biden, but had to cancel the trip due to the second Covid-19 wave across India. Centre says it will resume vaccine export, ahead of Modi’s US visit India will resume the export of Covid-19 vaccines in October to fulfil the country’s commitment to the WHO-supported COVAX programme, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Monday. “The surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfil our commitment towards the world for the collective fight against Covid-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, India expects a supply of 300 million doses of the Covid vaccines in October from different makers, the minister added. Separately, news agency Reuters report that India could receive 43.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine next month. India had stopped vaccine exports in April amidst the devastating second wave, allowing it to accelerate the vaccination of its population but derailing the COVAX program that supplies vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. COVAX depends on the Serum Institute of India-made AstraZeneca doses to meet its goals.
The decision to resume exports comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, where he will address the UN General Assembly as well as sit with fellow leaders of the Quad group. Vaccine distribution is to be on the agenda at both the UN meet and Quad summit. PM is to address the UN on September 25. At the Quad summit, the leaders will review the “vaccine initiative” announced in March, the ministry of external affairs had said. Reports say, a plan to distribute vaccine doses to Indo-Pacific nations, largely by leveraging India’s production capabilities, is on the agenda.
Following the Quad virtual summit, the US said it will provide financial support to help Hyderabad-based Biological E to produce a billion doses of the Covid vaccine by the end of 2022. Modi’s visit to the US is his first visit abroad in six months—the prime minister had visited Bangladesh in March for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Bangladesh’s emergence as a separate country. Modi was supposed to visit Europe in May but the trip was called off after India was hit by a particularly brutal second wave of covid-19 infections.
The US statement said that the “Biden-Harris Administration has made elevating the Quad a priority, as seen through the first-ever Quad Leaders-level engagement in March, which was virtual, and now this Summit, which will be in-person. Hosting the leaders of the Quad demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”