At New Delhi bilateral meeting, Biden and Modi reinforce commitment to strategic and economic partnership

US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the bilateral meeting on September 8, 2023, in New Delhi. PHOTO: PM Modi/Facebook

New Delhi : Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President Joe Biden, at the nation’s capital on September 8, 2023, in a bilateral meeting on the eve of G20 summit Sept. 9 and 10, reaffirming the primacy of the growing strategic and economic partnership.

Immediately after landing in New Delhi, Biden met Modi at his residence where the two discussed  wide range of subjects that could enhance economic ties and strengthen people-to-people connections between India and the United States.

Biden also commended India’s leadership during its G20 Presidency and the achievements of the forum.

A joint statement from India and the United States issued after the bilateral meeting said both leaders reiterated their dedication to the G20 and expressed optimism that the results of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi will contribute to advancing their collective objectives.

These goals include accelerating sustainable development, strengthening multilateral collaboration, and fostering global agreement on inclusive economic strategies to tackle the most pressing shared challenges, as well as the transformation and expansion of multilateral development banks.

Both appreciated the significant advancements being made in implementing the groundbreaking initiatives resulting from PM Modi’s historic visit to Washington DC in June 2023, the statement said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting US President Joe Biden at his residence in New Delhi on September 8, 2023. PHOTO: PM Modi/Facebook

Biden lauded the achievements of the Indian Space Research Organization on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing at the South Polar region of the Moon. He also commended the successful launch of India’s inaugural solar mission, Aditya-L1.

They reiterated the significance of The Quad in bolstering a free, open, inclusive, and robust Indo-Pacific region. Modi “eagerly anticipates” hosting President Biden at the upcoming Quad Leaders’ Summit scheduled to be held in India in 2024, the statement noted.

Biden has expressed his commitment “For a reformed UN [United Nations] Security Council with India as a permanent member” and in this particular context, he happily welcomed India’s bid for the non-permanent seat in the UNSC for the term 2028-29.

“Prime Minister Modi and President Biden reaffirmed technology’s defining role in deepening our strategic partnership and lauded ongoing efforts through the India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to build open, accessible, secure, and resilient technology ecosystems and value chains…” the statement added noting that both leaders “reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains.”

The two leaders confirmed their commitment to a shared vision of ensuring secure and reliable telecommunications, strengthening resilient supply chains, and promoting global digital inclusion, while welcoming “the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance.”

Washington and New Delhi committed to maintaining the strong level of collaboration between both governments, industries, and academic institutions while working towards the achievement of their ambitious vision for a long-lasting partnership.

They also welcomed “The settlement of the seventh and last outstanding World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute between India and the United States.”

According to the statement, both countries are also collaboratively progressing towards establishing investment platforms aimed at reducing capital costs and expediting the implementation of fresh renewable energy projects, battery storage solutions, and emerging green technology ventures within India. As such, they welcomed “The inaugural meeting of the India-U.S. Renewable Energy Technologies Action Platform [RE-TAP], in August 2023.”

US and Indian delegations at the bilateral meeting between President Biden and Prime Minister Modi Sept. 8, 2023, in New Delhi. PHOTO: Twitter X @narendramodi

They also expressed their commitment to expand the India-US Major Defense Partnership. “The leaders welcomed completion of the Congressional Notification process on 29 August 2023 and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India.”

The statement further noted “President Biden welcomed the issuance of a Letter of Request from the Ministry of Defense of India to procure 31 General Atomics MQ-9B (16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian) remotely piloted aircraft and their associated equipment, which will enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of India’s armed forces across all domains.”

Biden and Modi also committed to fostering policies and adjusting regulations to enable increased technology sharing and collaborative development, the statement added.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting US President Joe Biden at his residence in New Delhi on September 8, 2023. PHOTO: PM Modi/Facebook

Meanwhile, responding to the furor caused by the limited access accorded to the White House press pool for the bilateral meeting, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “This is not your typical bilateral visit to India with meetings taking place in the Prime Minister’s office and an entire program. This is the host of the G20 hosting a significant number of leaders, doing so in his home, and he has set out the protocols he’s set out.”

En route to India, Sullivan addressed reporters on Air Force One, talked of what the United States was looking to achieve at the G20 meetings. “And that goes from climate to energy security, to food security, to global macroeconomic stability, to being able to deliver public goods to people everywhere through ambitious initiatives like the World Bank reform initiative that President Biden has been working on.”

Referring to the joint statement which is to follow the G20 Summit, Sullivan said the coordinators have been working non-stop over the past few days on the statement. “We come into this, the United States, with immense goodwill towards producing consensus. And in that, we bring a spirit of compromise to a lot of the different issues that are contentious so that we can find a text that everybody can live with.”

India’s leadership of the G20 this year, will be followed by South Africa, and then the United States. “It is crucial to emphasize that not only India, Brazil, and South Africa but also the United States have a profound interest in guiding the G20 and ensuring its continued role as a pivotal platform for global cooperation in addressing the numerous significant challenges that lie ahead,” Sullivan said.



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