Modi-Biden meet will strengthen ties between the two countries, says White House FILE PHOTO: Joe Biden speaks alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a luncheon at the US State Department in Washington, DC, September 30, 2014. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
THE first bilateral meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Friday (24) will strengthen the relationship between the two countries and will give momentum to the Quad, a White House official has said.
Biden will host Modi at the White House on Friday. Later, the US president will host the first-ever in-person Quad leaders’ summit with Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The last telephone conversation between Modi and Biden took place on April 26.
“The leaders will focus on strengthening the deep ties between their people and shared democratic values that have underpinned the special bond between the US and India for more than seven decades,” said a White House official.
“The Biden-Harris administration has enhanced our partnership with India by working together to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, leading efforts to end the Covid-19 pandemic, and taking concerted action to address the climate crisis.”.
Addressing a press conference earlier, a senior official of the administration said: “The bilateral discussion between the US and India will help reinforce and give momentum to the Quad discussion because many of the topics are very much interrelated.
“The two leaders will have the opportunity to talk about counter-terrorism, the Afghanistan situation and how we can work together to fight terrorism, our common enemy, as well as about a range of regional issues and developments where we’ll have the opportunity to compare notes.”
The official added: “It is a relationship between two peoples. I think, Modi and Biden want to talk about the ways of pulling our countries even closer together at basically every level of interaction between our societies.”
Harris to meet Modi
US Vice President Kamala Harris will meet Modi on Thursday (23), a day ahead of the maiden bilateral meet between him and Biden.
“The vice president will meet with Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India,” a White House official said.
This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. Harris had earlier spoken with Modi over the phone during the Covid-19 crisis.
Harris is the first-ever person of Indian origin to be elected as the VP of the US.
According to the White House, Harris is scheduled to hold meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema and President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo this week.
Besides, Harris will also lead a session at the president’s virtual Covid Summit on building back better and preparing and preventing future pandemics, according to a senior White House official.