PM Modi in U.S. updates | September 24, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Quad Summit at the East Room of the White House on September 24, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on September 22 on an official visit to the U.S. during which he held the first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris.

He attended the maiden in-person Quad summit, and will address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25.

Previewing the first in-person summit level meeting between Quad leaders, a senior administration official in the U.S., who spoke on background highlighted the expected deliverables from the summit across a range of areas from vaccines to illegal fishing. The official also repeatedly stressed that the Quad is an informal gathering and not a military or security partnership.

Mr. Modi, who is visiting the U.S. for the seventh time after assuming office in 2014, said his visit would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and consolidate ties with Japan and Australia.

Mr. Modi on September 23 morning met with the CEOs of five companies that have invested in India or have significant investment potential: semiconductor and wireless technology manufacturer Qualcomm; renewable energy company First Solar; software company Adobe; energy systems and arms manufacturer General Atomics; and investment management company, the Blackstone Group.

Here are the latest developments:

 

11.40 pm

 

Biden hosts first in-person Quad Summit in White House

The first in-person Quad Summit has begun with brief remarks by leaders.

The White House’s East Room, the venue of the first in-person summit of Quad leaders on September 24, 2021.

The White House’s East Room, the venue of the first in-person summit of Quad leaders on September 24, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Sriram Lakshman

 

In his opening remarks, President Biden says the four democracies have come together to take on common challenges from COVID-19 to climate.

"We know how to get things done and are up to the challenge," he says. Mr. Biden while highlighting a free and open Indo-Pacific and issue of vaccines, also announces a STEM fellowship.

Modi’s remarks

Mr. Modi says he is "confident that our participation in Quad will establish peace and prosperity in the world".  He adds: “I firmly believe our Quad would act as a force for global good.”

 

During the summit, the four leaders are expected to discuss promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, address the climate crisis and advance practical cooperation on areas like combatting COVID-19.

9.25 pm

 

India-U.S. ties destined to be stronger, closer and tighter: Biden

Relationship between India and U.S., largest democracies in world, is destined to be stronger, closer and tighter, Mr. Biden tells Mr. Modi.

“Four million Indian-Americans make U.S. stronger every day,” he says.

“I believe U.S.-India can help us solve a lot of challenges,” Mr. Biden says. “We are watching a new chapter in India-U.S. ties.”

Mr. Modi, in his remarks tells Mr. Biden: “Your leadership will certainly play an important role in how this decade is shaped.”

— PTI

 

9.10 pm

 

Seeds of transformation of India-U.S. ties have been sown: Modi

 In his opening remarks at the meeting in the Oval Office, Mr. Modi says seeds of transformation of the India-U.S. relationship have been sown.

He says trade between the two countries will continue to assume importance. “There are things that you have, there are things we have. They complement each other. The next decade will be important in terms of trade.”

He refers to Mahatma Gandhi’s idea of trusteeship of the planet. Mr. Biden made a reference to October 2 in his remarks.  Mr. Modi says the sentiment of trusteeship will become more important globally and in the bilateral relationship.

During his remarks Mr. Biden goes off script with lots of jokes about the five Bidens in India. Mr. Modi says he’d brought some genealogy papers along for Mr. Biden to take a look. Lots of laughs.

 

Mr. Modi says after assuming change Mr. Biden has taken very unique initiatives on climate change, COVID-19 and Quad. “We have the opportunity to discuss all these issues in detail today. We can take positive action.” — Sriram Lakshman from Washinton D.C.

8.50 pm

 

Modi meets Biden in White House

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Joe Biden at the White House on Friday in his first bilateral meeting with the U.S. President during which the two leaders are expected to discuss a wide range of priority issues, including combating COVID-19, climate change, economic cooperation as well as Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on September 24, 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives for a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on September 24, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

 

While the two leaders have met earlier when Mr. Biden was the Vice-President, this is for the first time that Mr. Biden is meeting Mr. Modi after he became the 46th President of the U.S. in January.

Both Mr. Biden and Prime Minister Modi have spoken over the phone multiple times and have attended a few virtual summits, including that of the Quad in March hosted by the U.S. President.

"This morning I’m hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House for a bilateral meeting. I look forward to strengthening the deep ties between our two nations, working to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, and tackling everything from COVID-19 to climate change," President Biden tweeted just ahead of the meeting.

Mr. Modi, who is visiting the US for the 7th time after assuming office in 2014, had said his visit would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-U.S. Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest with President Biden.

Among the issues also include discussion about new areas of cooperation, said a senior administration official on the eve of the India-U.S. bilateral summit. — PTI

5.05 pm

Indo-US ties gone from strength to strength since Modi came to power: BJP

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set for a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden, the BJP asserted on Friday that the India-US relations have gone from strength to strength over the last seven years irrespective of the change of government in that country.

Addressing a press conference here, BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sudhanshu Trivedi noted that Modi will be meeting third US president as Indian prime minister and asserted that he has enjoyed same strong relations with every president and the government there irrespective of the party in power.

He has been projecting India's interests with the same intensity, Mr. Trivedi said, adding that his U.S. trip is multi-dimensional.

BJP's foreign affairs department in-charge Vijay Chauthaiwale said the Indo-US relations have gone from strength to strength in the last seven years since Mr. Modi came to power in 2014.

Noting that Mr. Modi met US Vice President Kamala Harris and five corporate bigwigs on Thursday during his visit with the two leaders discussing a range of issues, Chauthaiwale said the two countries are not only strategic partners but also share commonalities and are in synch over global issues, including terrorism and security issues.

The five CEOs the prime minister met represented top US firms from different sectors and were carefully chosen for the meeting, he said, adding that they expressed confidence in the Indian economy and promised more investment.

In the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a strategic grouping of the United States, India, Japan and Australia, the issue of terrorism, especially following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the rule of law and free movement in the south China sea will be raised, he said.

BJP leaders underlined the significance of Mr. Modi's trip by noting that besides meeting Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, he is also holding bilateral meetings with top leaders of Japan and Australia besides attending the Quad meeting. The Prime Minister will also be addressing the United Nations General Assembly.

3.50 pm

Vice President Kamala Harris to host meeting with Quad leaders

US Vice President Kamala Harris would host a separate meeting with the prime ministers of three Quad countries - India, Australia and Japan - at the White House to discuss with them the important factors for democracies to go forward.

President Joe Biden the three prime ministers -- Narendra Modi, Scott Morrison from Australia and Yoshihide Suga from Japan -- for the first-ever in-person meeting of the Quad leaders in the East Room of the White House on Friday afternoon.

“After the meeting with President Biden, the Quad members will meet with Vice President Harris for a detailed discussion on basically the capacities associated with resilience in each of our countries and compare notes on what we think is important as democracies go forward,” a senior administration official said.

"I expect that the dialogue among the four leaders will take a good part of the afternoon tomorrow. There will be time for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Suga and the President,” the official said, adding that there will be another session with Dr Jill Biden, the First Lady. -

PTI

3.30 pm

From vaccines to illegal fishing, Quad will announce a range of deliverables

Previewing the first in-person summit level meeting between Quad leaders later on Friday, a senior administration official in the U.S., who spoke on background highlighted the expected deliverables from the summit across a range of areas from vaccines to illegal fishing. The official also repeatedly stressed that the Quad is an informal gathering and not a military or security partnership.

The official said that U.S. President Joe Biden understands that the major challenges of this century will play out in the Indo-Pacific and the Quad engagement is part of the U.S. “doubling down” on diplomacy. Mr Biden is also keen for Friday’s discussions to not be scripted and wants an opportunity to have in-depth conversations, the official said.

“I do want to underscore that the Quad is an unofficial gathering, although we have a number of working groups and we are deepening cooperation on a very daily basis. It is also the case that it is not a regional security organization,” the official said, adding that at Friday’s summit, Quad leaders wanted to focus on specific issues facing the Indo-Pacific at the moment.

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3.00 pm

COVID-19, climate change, economic cooperation and Afghanistan on agenda of Modi-Biden talks

US President Joe Biden is looking forward to his first bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday during which they are expected to discuss a wide range of priority issues, including combating COVID-19 and climate change, economic cooperation as well as Afghanistan.

“President Biden is looking forward to his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi in the Oval Office on Friday morning, ahead of the QUAD summit (later in the day),” said a senior administration official familiar with the preparations of the maiden Biden-Modi summit.

“We will cover a number of priority issues that India is really, front and centre…. including pandemic response, their response to climate change; we'll talk about technology issues, economic cooperation and trade as well as Afghanistan,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. - PTI

2.30 pm

PM gifts Harris copy of notifications related to her grandfather, chess set

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted US Vice President Kamala Harris a copy of old notifications related to her grandfather, who was a senior Indian government officer, in a wooden handicraft frame and a 'meenakari' chess set as they held their first in-person meeting.

"In a very touching gesture, PM Modi presented Vice President Harris a copy of old notifications related to her grandfather, Shri PV Gopalan, in a wooden handicraft frame. P V Gopalan was a senior and respected government officer who served in various positions," a government source said.

Modi also gifted Harris a 'gulabi meenakari' chess set, the sources said, adding that the craft of 'gulabi meenakari' is closely associated with Varanasi, one of the oldest cities of the world and the prime minister's Lok Sabha constituency.

Each piece on this particular chess set is remarkably handcrafted, the sources said.

The bright colours reflect the vibrancy of Varanasi, they said.

9:20 am

U.S. and France have very strong interests in strengthening ties with India: Blinken

The United States. and France have “very strong interests” in strengthening their respective relationships with India even more, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said, while not getting into the “specific hypotheticals” of a future nuclear submarine alliance between New Delhi and Paris.

Mr. Blinken was responding to a question on whether the U.S. would welcome a nuclear submarine alliance between India and France as the Quad Leaders’ Summit gets underway.

Read more
 

8:30am

PM Modi discusses bilateral, regional, global issues with Australia’s Morrison in U.S. ahead of 1st in-person Quad Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has met his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison here ahead of the first in-person Quad meeting to be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden and discussed a broad range of issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, including the Indo-Pacific.

The meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Morrison on September 23 came a week after they spoke over phone and reviewed the rapid progress in the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, including through the recent 'two-plus-two' dialogue, and exchanged views on regional developments and the forthcoming Quad meeting.

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7:30am

India and Japan reaffirm commitment for free, open Indo-Pacific ahead of Quad meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga have reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, as they reviewed the multi-faceted bilateral relationship and exchanged views on recent global developments, including in Afghanistan, ahead of the first in-person Quad meeting to be hosted by US President Joe Biden.

During their meeting here on September 23, 2021, the two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance bilateral security and defence cooperation, including in the area of defence equipment and technologies, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

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4am

PM Modi, Kamala Harris hold their first in person dialogue; discuss bilateral ties, Indo-Pacific

Prime Minister Narendra Mod and Vice President Kamala Harris had bilateral talks on September 23, 2021. Mr. Modi was received at the 150-year-old Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses the Vice President’s ceremonial office.

The meeting started with comments at the top, with the press in the room. Ms. Harris spoke first, and Mr.  Modi next, with interpreters translating between English and Hindi .

Mr. Modi spoke about the warmth of Ms. Harris’s message in a phone earlier this year when India was facing its second pandemic wave.

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Modi meets Adobe, Qualcomm CEOs on first day of U.S. visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off his first visit to the U.S. in two years, with meetings with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in the morning and bilateral meetings with Vice-President Kamala Harris and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Scott Morrison of Australia scheduled for the afternoon.

On Thursday morning, he met with the CEOs of five companies that have invested in India or have significant investment potential.

Read more
 

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