Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington on September 22 on an official visit to the U.S. during which he held the first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris.
He attended the maiden in-person Quad summit on September 24 with the U.S. President and Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia — Yoshihide Suga and Scott Morrison.
Mr. Modi will address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 25.
Here are the latest developments:
India, US condemn cross-border terrorism
India and the US have said that they will take concerted action against all terrorist groups, including groups proscribed by the UN as they condemned cross-border terrorism and called for the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to be brought to justice.
A Joint Statement issued after the first bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday said that the United States and India stand together in a shared fight against global terrorism.
The two leaders reaffirmed that the United States and India “will take concerted action against all terrorist groups, including groups proscribed by the UNSCR 1267 Sanctions Committee.” They “condemned cross-border terrorism, and called for the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks to be brought to justice. They denounced any use of terrorist proxies and emphasised the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terrorist groups which could be used to launch or plan terror attacks,” the joint statement said.
Biden jokes about possible India connection in meeting with PM Modi
U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday, September 24, 2021 pleasantly spoke about his possible India connection during his first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, recalling a story about a man with the Biden surname writing to him when he was first elected as a Senator in 1972.
Recalling the incident when he was in Mumbai as the US vice president in 2013, Mr. Biden said that he was asked about if he has any relatives in India.
He said that the next morning, the press told him that there were five Bidens living in India.
“I have never been able to track it down so the whole purpose of this meeting is to help me figure it out,” Mr. Biden said, triggering laughter among those present in the meeting room, including Prime Minister Modi.
Prime Minister Modi replied in affirmative. “Was I related?” the president asked when Mr. Modi informed him that he has brought along with him a set of documents from the investigations he did on the Bidens in India. “Yes,” Mr. Modi told Mr. Biden.
“Mr President, you have talked today and spoken in detail about the Biden surname in India. In fact you had mentioned that to me earlier too. Well, after you mentioned that to me, I looked for documents,” he said.
Quad to deepen counter-terrorism in Afghanistan
The group, comprising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Ministers Scott Morrison of Australia and Yoshihide Suga of Japan, also declared new joint positions in the region, such as coordinating diplomatically in Afghanistan.
In their joint statement, Quad leaders declared they would closely coordinate their “diplomatic, economic and human rights policies” towards Afghanistan and deepen their counter-terrorism and humanitarian cooperation there in accordance with United Nations Security Council 2593 (a resolution passed on August 30, when India held the presidency of the Council). The resolution seeks a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan and calls for the country not to be used as a base to nurture terrorism.
“We reaffirm that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterate the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan,” the Quad statement said.
Quad leaders pledge to ensure ‘free’ and ‘inclusive’ Indo-Pacific
The Quad leaders have pledged to ensure a “free and open” Indo-Pacific, which is also “inclusive and resilient”, as they noted that the strategically vital region, witnessing China’s growing military manoeuvring, is a bedrock of their shared security and prosperity.
The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden after their first in-person Quad summit on Friday described it as an opportunity to refocus themselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on our vision for what they hope to achieve.
“Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” the Quad leaders said in a joint statement.
US lawmakers welcome first Biden-Modi bilateral meeting, Quad summit
Top American lawmakers have welcomed the first bilateral meeting between Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the maiden in-person Quad summit hosted by the US President to enhance America’s cooperation with its allies to ensure security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“The United States-India relationship is more important now than ever. With a rising China and the Taliban once again in control of Afghanistan, our partnership will bring greater stability and security to the Indo-Pacific,” Congressman Mark Green said.
Congressman Ami Bera, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, applauded Biden for convening the first-ever leader-level summit of the Quad countries.
“Today’s successful summit is a testament to our collective, unwavering commitment to a free, open, and stable Indo-Pacific rooted in liberal values and international norms,” he said.