PM to visit US for Quad on Sept 24; focus on Afghan crisis, Covid-19

PM Modi arrives in US to attend Quad leaders' summit, address UNGA

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the US next week to participate in the first in-person Quad summit that is expected to broadly focus on contemporary global challenges, including the Afghan crisis, the Covid pandemic, and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In his first visit to the US since President Joe Biden took office, the prime minister will participate in the summit of the four-nation grouping on September 24 in Washington and address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York the next day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said while announcing the visit.

In Washington, Modi is expected to hold separate bilateral talks with President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Modi-Biden bilateral meeting is expected to take place at the White House on September 23. Both leaders have spoken virtually on multiple occasions after Biden became president in January. The last time Modi visited the US was in September 2019 when he and then US President Donald Trump addressed the Howdy-Modi event in Houston.

This will be Modi’s first foreign visit in nearly six months and his second since the outbreak of the pandemic coronavirus. In March, Modi traveled to Bangladesh to attend events organized to mark the birth centenary of Bangaba­ndhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of the war of liberation of that country.

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, Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in virtual format. It 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 MEA said the leaders 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.

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