Modi-Biden talks: Jake Sullivan in India to finalize the agenda
India and the United States are likely to discuss the final agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with President Joe Biden later this month in Washington during a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday between National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his counterpart Jake Sullivan. This crucial visit comes days after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s talks here with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last week apparently to lay the groundwork for some important defence-related announcements likely to be made after Modi’s talks with Biden.
Defence ministers have firmed up the Defence Roadmap
Rajnath and Austin also firmed up the roadmap for US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation. Austin also held detailed discussions with Doval. It was Austin’s second visit to India with the last one in March 2021. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra also held talks in Washington with US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.
India keen to get cutting-edge tech
India is keen to acquire cutting-edge defence technology from the US and a deal may be inked soon for joint production of the US-made GE-414 jet engines for Tejas light combat aircraft in India. The contours of this deal and some other proposals involving hi-tech products may be firmed up during talks between the two NSAs on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET). Doval had launched the iCET talks during a visit to the U.S. some months ago.
President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in May 2022 to elevate and expand strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of the two countries.
Modi’s trip a defining moment
Reports from Washington, meanwhile, indicated the first state visit of Prime Minister Modi to the US is likely to be a defining moment for the Indo-US relationship. Both sides are working on a robust outcome document that may take up matters that would decide the contour of the bilateral ties for decades to come, according to people familiar with the planning of the high-profile trip.
Finalizing the joint statement
The two sides are finalizing the joint statement, which is being described as a robust outcome document and as something that would shape the nature and contour of the Indo-US relationship for decades to come, according to multiple people familiar with the planning of the visit. While the final decisions on the deliverable would be taken by the two leaders on June 22, the joint statement that is being drafted right now is believed to take up issues that would propel the India-US partnership, with key focus areas being technology, space, and defence, they said.
Welfare oriented approach
But all the sectors are likely to have a personal touch of the prime minister, who has insisted that these be linked to the development and welfare of the people. Both Modi and Biden believe that the India-US relationship is important not only for the two countries but also for the rest of the world. The outcome document is expected to be reflective of the visions of the two leaders, they said.
While the outcome document would include things that would accelerate the cooperation between industries and, overall, the big picture likely to emerge from the historic visit is that it would concretize the trust and confidence level between the two countries like never seen before, they said.
Following the state visit, the partnership is headed to evolve from India being seen as a big market for American companies to the relationship being seen as that of two reliable partners, especially in the field of the supply chain. The key to it is India’s ability to produce things at scale and affordable prices with American technology.
The visit would result in taking up the trust and confidence between the two countries to an altogether new level. Prime Minister Modi will fly into Washington on June 21 from New York after attending the International Yoga Day celebrations.
Mega-cultural show in the park opp the White House
As he drives into the city, after landing at Joint Base Andrews, hundreds of Indian Americans are preparing for a mega cultural show in the park in front of the White House and next to the Blair House, the official guest house of the US President. Traditionally, the President hosts the visiting leader for an intimate private dinner at his residence, according to White House historians.
Over the next two days, the two leaders would spend several hours together, beginning with a welcome ceremony on the South Lawns of the White House. This is expected to be one of the biggest White House welcome ceremonies, with the exception of the 2008 papal visit when, according to record, more than 13,500 people attended.
Thousands plan to attend
Several thousands of Indian Americans are planning to attend the welcome ceremony on the South Lawns of the White House, which might cross 5,000 on the morning of June 22. More than 1,500 Indian Americans are planning to come to Washington from the New York and New Jersey areas. Over 500 Indian Americans each are coming from states like California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
After the welcome ceremony, which would be addressed by the two leaders, Biden and Modi are then expected to walk towards the Oval Office for a one-on-one talk followed by a delegation-level meeting in the Cabinet meeting room. Following the meetings at the White House, which among other things, include interaction with the press, Modi would head to the US Capital for a joint address to the US Congress.
The meeting would be presided over by Vice President Kamala Harris. There is a huge demand from Indian Americans to attend this momentous occasion. Lawmakers are having a tough time in ticket distribution.
State dinner on the 22nd
The Prime Minister would return to the White House later in the evening for the state dinner being hosted by Biden and the First Lady. The guest list has not been announced yet. The First Lady has a key role in the preparations. All eyes are on the dinner menu, decor, and entertainment.
Harris would host the Prime Minister for lunch on June 23 at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, which is being co-hosted by the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Second Gentleman. The two leaders are likely to deliver remarks during the luncheon.
Interaction with the diaspora and the business community is one of the hallmarks of the prime ministers’ overseas trips, which is expected to consume most of the day’s proceedings on June 23.
In between, several Cabinet ministers in the Biden administration and key leaders are likely to call on the prime minister for meetings.
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- Pakistan seeks USD 11 billion aid from China, Saudi Arabia to keep IMF bailout programme on track - September 29, 2023
- Madras High Court passes interim order asking BJP MLAs to return temple land acquired illegally - September 27, 2023
- Delhi court denies bail to Maltese man, who assisted Kamal Nath’s nephew, in money laundering case - September 27, 2023