PM Modi leaves for US; will meet Biden, address UNGA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his visit to the United States this morning, where he is scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings and address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). His aircraft left New Delhi around 11 am and will reach Washington at 6 pm local time (3:30 am on Thursday as per Indian Standard Time). Here's more on his trip.
In a statement before departure, PM Modi said, "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 will take part in the first in-person Quad Summit, which comprises India, the US, Japan, and Australia.
PM Modi said the Quad Summit with US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan will help reflect on the outcomes of a virtual summit held in March this year. It will provide an opportunity to "identify priorities for future engagements based on our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region," he stated.
On September 23, PM Modi will meet US Vice President Kamala Harris, their first-ever in-person meeting. He will also hold bilateral meetings with with Australia's Morrison and Japanese leader Suga, ahead of the Quad Summit, the same day. The PM is scheduled to meet Biden on September 24, marking their first meeting after the latter became the American President.
"The two leaders are expected to discuss how to bolster bilateral trade and investment ties, strengthen security collaboration, boost the strategic clean energy partnership," Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla said on Tuesday. PM Modi will also meet American business leaders, hoping to improve trade and investment.
PM Modi will conclude his visit after his address at the UNGA on September 25, where he is expected to speak on various issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border terrorism, and regional security situation. He had last addressed the UNGA in-person in 2019. The PM will be accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval during the trip.
This is PM Modi's first visit to the US since 2019 when he had attended the Howdy Modi event with then President Donald Trump. It also marks his first major foreign trip during the coronavirus pandemic. He will return to India on Sunday.