Narendra Modi in US LIVE Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set for a power-packed schedule as he leaves for the United States today for his first major foreign visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. He will meet US President Joe Biden Biden at the White House, said foreign secretary Harsh Shringla during a press conference, adding that meetings with V-P Kamala Harris and CEOs of leading US companies. Ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, Shringla said, “PM Modi will leave tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and will return on September 26. This is his first major foreign visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the highlights will be the meeting with US President Joe Biden Biden at the White House. This is the first in person meeting of Prime Minister Modi with President Biden. The two leaders have been in regular contact over the last few months.”
The two leaders will have a bilateral meet to bolster security, defence and trade, said Shringla, adding that a discussion will also be held on Afghanistan situation since the Taliban takeover. “The Prime Minister will participate in the Covid-19 meeting. The two leaders will have bilateral to bolster security, defence and trade and also discuss Afghanistan, dismantling of global terror network,” he said.
“PM Modi will also have bilateral meeting with Australia and Japan. QUAD and AUKUS are not the same. QUAD’s vision is to look at the Indo-pacific as a free open region. There are a wide array of initiatives that QUAD has undertaken. The AUKUS is a security alliance. It is not relevant to QUAD,” he added. Talking about the Covid-19 vaccination, he said, “We will be reciprocal in our vaccine policy with nations. The US has been evolving its policy. We were earlier in a category and not we are in another,” Shringla said.
Here’s a tentative schedule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US to address the UNGA session in New York:
September 22: Prime Minister Modi is likely to take part in a Covid-19 summit.
September 23: He will meet Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison for bilateral meetings. Later, he will meet a number of top executives of major American companies in Washington. Apple CEO Tim Cook is expected to be one of them.
On the same day, Modi will meet US Vice-president Kamala Harris after which a gala dinner, to be hosted by US President Joe Biden, will take place.
September 24: Modi and Biden are expected to deliberate on ways to bolster bilateral ties in trade, investment and defence and security in their in-person talks in Washington. The bilateral talks between Modi and Biden are expected to figure ways to deal with radicalisation and terrorism besides major regional issues.
Besides holding bilateral talks with the US leaders, PM Modi will participate in the first in-person summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or QUAD in Washington on the same day that is expected to broadly focus on contemporary global and regional issues.
September 25: After concluding his engagements in Washington, Modi will travel to New York to attend the UN General Assembly on this day. He is scheduled to address the General Debate of the High-Level Segment of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at around 6:30 pm (IST) in New York.
India and the US held a series of meetings as part of preparations for Modi’s visit. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a two-day visit to India in July. Before that, US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin had paid a three-day visit to New Delhi in March.
The US is hosting the in-person summit of the leaders of QUAD to boost practical cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region as well as to send a strong signal about Washington’s commitment to the grouping. In March, President Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the QUAD leaders in the virtual format that vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending an apparent message to China.
The last time Modi visited the US was in September 2019 when he and the then US President Donald Trump addressed the Howdy-Modi event in Houston.