Narendra Modi to visit the US between Sept 21 to 27
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting the United States in September last week. The dates are tentatively between September 22 – September 27. He is expected to be in Washington and New York and will meet President Joe Biden, with the agenda expected to be the Afghanistan chaos and Corona-related issues. Modi is also likely to address the annual United Nations General Assembly session on September 25.
This will be Modi’s first visit to the USA since Biden became the President earlier this year. Moreover, it will be the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders, Indian diplomats said on Saturday. Details and schedule of Modi’s visit to New York and Washington were now being worked out, they added. He last visited the USA in 2019 when Donald Trump was at the helm. Indian Prime Minister’s office is also co-coordinating to fix a meeting with Modi and Indian origin US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Besides the fast-changing scenario in Afghanistan, Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are also likely to review the situation in the Indo-Pacific where China is flexing its maritime muscle.
As regards the meeting between Modi and Biden, sources said the two have met virtually on at least three occasions including the QUAD summit in March, the climate change summit in April, and the G-7 summit in June this year. The Prime Minister called off his visit to Britain earlier this year to attend the G-7 summit due to the second wave of the Corona pandemic then raging in India. He could have met Biden there if the visit had gone as per schedule.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla is, at present, in the US holding talks with his counterparts there to firm up the Prime Minister’s schedule, sources said. The top diplomat met Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman. This was the first high-level discussion between the officials of the two countries after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan on August 31.
Minister of State for external affairs Meenakshi Lekhi is in New York to attend a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on peacekeeping. Besides the fast-changing scenario in Afghanistan, Biden and Modi are also likely to review the situation in the Indo-Pacific where China is flexing its maritime muscle. Ways to further strengthen the QUAD group may also figure in the summit between Modi and Biden, they said. The QUAD nations including India, the US, Japan, and Australia recently held the Malabar series of naval exercises in Guam in the western Pacific.
On the Foreign Secretary’s ongoing visit to the US, Shringla and Sherman discussed the Afghanistan situation, strengthening Indo-Pacific cooperation through the QUAD, addressing the climate crisis and the pandemic, and preparations for upcoming dialogues, such as the 2+2 Ministerial, said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Meanwhile, the 2+2 dialogue between India and the United States will be held in November, Shringla said. “We’re looking at the 2+2 which will happen in November. The exact dates are not yet worked out,” Shringla told a group of Indian reporters at the conclusion of his three-day visit to Washington.
The last meeting of the 2+2 dialogue was held in New Delhi and the next meeting is to be hosted by the US in Washington. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also held a series of telephonic conversations with his counterpart Blinken.
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