Biden, Modi pledge to deepen ties even as President condemns Russian invasion

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President Joe Biden at the Indo pacific meetings in Japan May 23, 2022. Pboto: Twitter @narendramodi

President Joe Biden met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi May 23, 2022, in Tokyo to reaffirm their commitment to work together for a more prosperous, free, connected, and secure world. The U.S. President categorically condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and while Modi refrained on that front, the two countries committed themselves to continue humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and discussed how to mitigate the global fallout from the war.

A statement from the White House said the leaders reviewed the progress made in the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership during their nearly hour-long meeting.

In a Twitter comment, Modi said, “Had a productive meeting with @POTUS @JoeBiden . Today’s discussions were wide-ranging and covered multiple aspects of India-USA ties including trade, investment, defence as well as people-to-people linkages.”

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They committed to deepening the Major Defense Partnership, encourage economic engagement that benefits both countries, and expand the partnership on global health, pandemic preparedness, and critical and emerging technologies.

The White House readout on the meeting said the two leaders discussed their shared belief in the urgent need to address climate change.

“They looked forward to enhancing their partnership to accelerate India’s just energy transition, including through the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership, especially in the areas of renewables deployment, decarbonizing the energy and industrial sectors, zero-emissions vehicles, adaptation, and mobilizing related investment in India.”

“President Biden condemned Russia’s unjustifiable war against Ukraine,” the White House said.

However, the leaders’ committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance, and discussed how to cooperate to manage disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, in particular the rise in energy and food prices, to protect their respective citizens and the world.

President Biden and Prime Minister Modi renewed their commitment to a bilateral relationship rooted in a shared tradition of democracy, freedom, tolerance, and equal opportunity for all citizens, the statement said. President Biden welcomed India’s role in the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action.

They expressed pride in the achievements of the third Quad Leaders’ Summit held May 23, and the growing strength of the Quad partnership. The leaders affirmed the outcomes of the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue held on April 11 “which made evident that the United States and India have a breadth of cooperation matched by few other partnerships. Proving that democracies can deliver for the global good.”

The two countries concluded an Investment Incentive Agreement which provides a framework for DFC to continue to expand its investment in India for private sector-led projects in critical areas such as renewable energy, agriculture, health, and SME financing.
The two countries are renewing the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program, which since its establishment has yielded several success stories towards the discovery, development, and manufacture of India’s first indigenous and low-cost vaccines to address rotavirus and COVID-19. The two leaders also discussed expanding collaboration to combat antimicrobial resistance, as well as non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer”

The two countries announced India’s joining the Combined Military Forces-Bahrain as an associate member.

They welcomed the launch of a United States–India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), spearheaded by the National Security Councils of the two countries to expand partnership in critical and emerging technologies.

The U.S. plans to join six of India’s Technology Innovation Hubs to support at least 25 joint research projects in 2022 in areas such as artificial intelligence and data science to advance progress in applications such as agriculture, health and climate. The U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Science and Technology of India will deepen this cooperation through the new U.S.-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology.

The two leaders “noted with pleasure the establishment of the Indo-Pacific partnership for maritime domain awareness,” the White House said.

Both countries committed to expanding cooperation in new defense domains, including through space, cyber, and launching a dialogue on Artificial Intelligence this year.

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