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PM Modi to visit US next week to attend Quad Summit, UNGA meet

This will be after nearly six months that Modi will be travelling to a foreign nation since the outbreak of Coronavirus in March last year.

Ashok Tuteja | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the United States next week to attend the leaders’ summit of the ”Quadrilateral Framework” in Washington on 24 September and address the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York the next day.

This will be after nearly six months that Modi will be travelling to a foreign nation since the outbreak of Coronavirus in March last year. He had last travelled to Dhaka in March this year to join the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence in 1971.

The ”Quad Summit”, being hosted by US President Joe Biden, will also be attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. This will be the first in-person meeting of the four Quad leaders. President Biden had hosted a virtual summit of the four leaders in March in the virtual format.

”The leaders will review progress made since their first virtual Summit on 12 March 2021 and discuss regional issues of shared interest,” the Ministry of External affairs (MEA) said while announcing the PM’s visit.

It said that as part of their ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the leaders will review the ”Quad Vaccine” initiative which was announced in March.

They will also exchange views on contemporary global issues such as critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, climate change and education.

The summit would provide a valuable opportunity for dialogue and interactions among the leaders, anchored in their shared vision of ensuring a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, the MEA added.

Since the summit is being held closely on the heels of the withdrawal by American troops from Afghanistan and the subsequent chaos there, the developments in the troubled nation are bound to figure prominently at the meeting. India is likely to draw the summit leaders’ attention towards the catastrophic poverty situation developing in Afghanistan in the wake of its takeover by the Taliban. China’s aggressive posturing on maritime issues may also figure during the summit.

Meanwhile, the US administration said President Biden was looking forward to welcoming the Prime Ministers of India, Japan and Australia at the White House for the summit. Hosting the Quad leaders demonstrated the Biden administration’s priority to engage the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century, it added.

Modi is also likely to hold extensive bilateral talks with President Biden on the margins of the summit. He will also hold bilateral meetings with his Australian and Japanese counterparts.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to address the general debate of the high-level segment of the 76th session of the UNGA on 25 September.

The theme for this year’s general debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.