Modi leaves for US, speaks about stronger ties with Washington
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi before boarding his plane for the US in New Delhi on September 22, 2021. (ANI Photo)
INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (22) said his three-day visit to the United States would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and improve ties with Japan and Australia.
Just before his departure for the US where he will meet the leaders of the host nation and Japan and Australia besides addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Modi said in a statement that he will conclude his visit with the General Assembly address focusing on the pressing global challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other key issues.
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Modi left for the US from New Delhi on Wednesday morning with his office tweeting a picture of him just before boarding the aircraft.
“I will be visiting the USA from 22-25 September, 2021 at the invitation of His Excellency President Joe Biden of the United States of America. During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the prime minister said.
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“I am also looking forward to meeting Vice President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between our two nations particularly in the area of science and technology,” he added.
Modi said he will take part in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit along with President Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Premier Yoshihide Suga. The summit, according to Modi, provides an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of the Quad leaders’ Virtual Summit in March this year and identify priorities for future engagements based on the countries’ shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region.
“I will also meet Prime Minister Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Suga of Japan to take stock of the strong bilateral relations with their respective countries and continue our useful exchanges on regional and global issues,” Modi said.
“My visit to the US would be an occasion to strengthen the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with the USA, consolidate relations with our strategic partners — Japan and Australia — and to take forward our collaboration on important global issues,” he said.
Modi will hold his first in-person meeting with US president Joe Biden in Washington Friday (24) where issues like the Afghanistan crisis, China’s growing assertiveness and further expansion of India-US global partnership are expected to be discussed.
At a media briefing on the eve of the prime minister’s visit to the US, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the developments in Afghanistan will be extensively discussed in the bilateral talks between Modi and Biden and the Indian side will convey that Washington needs to continue to focus on that country.
This is Modi’s seventh visit to the US since becoming the prime minister in May 2014 and the first since 2019 when Donald Trump was the president of that country.