Biden to speak with Modi on a virtual call on April 11th prior to the 2+2 US – India Ministerial Dialogue

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressing the media at the White House on April 8, 2022. PHOTO: T. Vishnudatta Jayaraman, News India Times

The White House, on April 10, 2022, announced that President Biden will be meeting with Prime Minister Modi for a virtual meeting on Monday, April 11, 2022. The meeting between Biden and Modi will take place in advance of the US and India 2+2 Ministerial dialogue between US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, and Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh.

Crucial issues including the Russia-Ukraine war, US sanctions on Russia, and India’s response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine are expected to dominate the 2+2 Ministerial dialogue, a first between the Biden and Modi administrations, scheduled to take place at the State Department in Washington DC. The last 2+2 dialogue was held in October 2020, in New Delhi, between the Trump and Modi administrations, where Jaishankar, and Singh along with former Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, and former Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, reiterated their commitment to further strengthening the U.S.-India partnership, mutual trust and friendship, commitment to democracy, and converging strategic interests.

During the virtual discussion on April 11th, Biden is expected to focus on continuing close consultations with Modi on the consequences of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and ways to mitigate its severe impact on global food supply and commodity markets. The two leaders, who last spoke during the Quad Leaders meet in March, will also progress ongoing conversations regarding the development of an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and delivering high-quality infrastructure through Build Back Better World, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on April 10th.

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The statement further elaborated, “President Biden and Prime Minister Modi will discuss cooperation on a range of issues including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, countering the climate crisis, strengthening the global economy, and upholding a free, open, rules-based international order to bolster security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific,” adding, that this meeting is expected to “further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and our people.”

On April, 8, 2022, Psaki, during the press briefing at the White House, stated, “President Biden believes our partnership with India is one of the most important relationships we have in the world.  As you know, he met with Prime Minister Modi and other Quad leaders in March.  He expects that at this 2+2, Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin will continue driving forward our work with India and our shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. We also believe both sides will continue our close consultations on the consequences of President Putin’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating the impact by addressing energy and food prices.  Obviously, it could cover a range of topics, but we expect that to be a central one.”

Notably, the White House sent its Deputy National Security Advisor, Daleep Singh to New Delhi on March 30 and 31 to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine, goals and mechanisms of U.S. sanctions on Russia, and strengthening the global economy among other issues.

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