President Biden to host PM Modi at White House for first bilateral meeting on Sep 24

PTI | Washington DC | Updated: 20-09-2021 23:00 IST | Created: 20-09-2021 22:54 IST
President Biden to host PM Modi at White House for first bilateral meeting on Sep 24
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US President Joe Biden would host Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their first bilateral meeting on September 24, according to the president's weekly schedule released by the White House on Monday.

''The President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India,'' it said on the maiden meeting between the two leaders on Friday.

Both leaders have spoken virtually on multiple occasions after Biden, a Democrat, became US president in January.

The last time Prime Minister Modi visited 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.

Biden will also meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the White House said on the president's engagements on Friday.

Later on October 24, Biden will host the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders' Summit at the White House with Modi, Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, according to the US president's weekly schedule.

The four leaders will review progress made since their first virtual Summit on 12 March this year and discuss regional issues of shared interest, the Ministry of External Affairs said last week in New Delhi.

''As part of their ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, they will review the Quad Vaccine initiative which was announced in March this year,'' it said.

They will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, climate change and education. ''The Summit would provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue and interactions among the leaders, anchored in their shared vision of ensuring a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,'' the MEA statement said.

The evolving situation in the strategically vital Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's aggressive muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China seas. Beijing has also made substantial progress in militarising its man-made islands in the past few years. Beijing claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims. In the East China Sea, China has territorial disputes with Japan.

Both maritime areas in the South and East China seas are rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources. The South China Sea is also a vital commercial gateway for a substantial portion of the world's merchant shipping. Thus it is a vital economic and strategic sub-region of the Indo-Pacific region. President Biden is scheduled to leave for New York later on Monday to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. It will be Biden's maiden address to the world body.

In New York, Biden is scheduled to meet Australian Prime Minister Morrison. On his return from New York, the White House said, Biden will host a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday. The visit to the US will be Modi's first foreign visit in nearly six months and his second since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Modi travelled to Bangladesh to attend events organised to mark the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of the War of Liberation of that country.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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