Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for the United States, saying he would discuss regional and global issues with President Joe Biden during their bilateral meeting in Washington on Friday and raise the issue of terrorism, among other things, in his address to the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
In a statement before his departure on the five-day visit, he said he would also review the comprehensive Indo-US global strategic partnership with President Biden. He said he was also looking forward to meeting Vice-President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between the two nations, particularly in the area of science and technology.
“I will participate in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit along with President Biden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan. The summit provides an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of our virtual summit in March this year and identify priorities for future engagements based on our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region,” Modi said.
He said he would also hold bilateral talks with the Australian and Japanese PMs to take stock of the strong bilateral relations with the two countries and continue useful exchanges on regional and global issues.
He said he would conclude his visit with an address at the UNGA, focusing on the pressing global challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues.
“My visit to the US would be an occasion to strengthen the comprehensive global strategic partnership with USA, consolidate relations with our strategic partners – Japan and Australia — and to take forward our collaboration on important global issues,” the PM concluded.
This is Modi’s second visit abroad since the onset of Covid-19 in March last year. He had visited Bangladesh in March this year to attend the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the creation of the neighbouring country.
Modi is expected to discuss with President Biden during their first in-person meeting the disturbing situation in Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban and Pakistan’s role in the crisis in the embattled country. He is also likely to impress upon the American leader the need to maintain a constant vigil on the situation in Afghanistan so that it was not allowed to become a sanctuary for terrorists.
China’s aggressive posturing on maritime issues in the context of the Indo-Pacific region is expected to figure prominently during the Quad Summit. The Quad leaders will also review the cooperation among the four countries in tackling the challenge posed by Covid-19.
Modi is also likely to hold bilateral meetings with some world leaders on the margins of the UNGA.