Every global and regional issue that is relevant to India and the U.S. is expected to feature in the bilateral dialogue that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold with American President Joe Biden during his upcoming official state visit to the U.S., Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said on June 19. Apart from official engagements, Mr. Modi’s visit will include meetings with the Indian diaspora and senior CEOs from the corporate world.
“Every regional and global issue that are important in the context of India-US relationship will be discussed [by PM Modi and President Biden] as per availability of time,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said in a special briefing on the visit, explaining that “larger issues” that are of strategic importance to both sides will be taken up during the Modi-Biden meeting.
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The discussion between the two leaders will also include India’s Presidency of the G20, which will meet here in India at the level of the leaders in September. Mr. Modi’s visit comes at crucial time for South Asia, which is witnessing political instability and conflicts in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar.
That apart, the U.S. in recent months has taken several steps, including the imposition of a ban on visa issuance to disruptors of democracy in election-bound Bangladesh. As a result of these factors that are unfolding in India’s vicinity, there are expectations that the Modi-Biden talks may also take up regionally significant developments.
“The focus is on what India is trying to do in its G20 Presidency, especially regarding priorities, interests and concerns of the Global South. The large chunk of the Global South remains unrepresented in the G20. The idea is to put that on the table in terms of it being included into the G20. These will feature in the discussion that the honourable PM and the President will hold,” Mr. Kwatra said, indicating that Africa will feature in the bilateral discussion between the two sides, especially in the context of the G20.
Mr. Modi will receive a ceremonial welcome at the White House on the morning of June 22, which is expected to be attended by a large number of invitees. The bilateral official discussion that will follow, Mr. Kwatra said, is likely to include a “strong tech component” covering telecom, space, manufacturing, and possibly semiconductors.
The Prime Minister’s first event upon landing in the U.S. will take place in the premises of the United Nations, where he will lead a large number of yoga enthusiasts on International Day of Yoga. Diplomats from many U.N. member countries are expected to participate.
The annual event under the UN began after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in 2014 to adopt the International Day of Yoga.
Mr. Kwatra said India and the U.S. are focused on the relatively new component of the relationship of “defence industrial companies”. “We are working on how Indian and American defence industrial companies can form a supply line ecoystem,” Mr. Kwatra said.
The Foreign Secretary said Mr. Modi’s interactions business leaders and the Indian diaspora will be held in two phases, with one event taking place at the Kennedy Center, which will include captains of industry and young achievers from the Indian American community.
Another diaspora event is being planned by the Indian community at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre on the evening of June 23. This will be the last event that Mr. Modi will attend before flying to Egypt, where he will pay a state visit on June 24-25.