U.S President, Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi have pledged to deepen ties between their two countries.
This came as the leaders held direct talks ahead of a Group of 20 summit, which commences on Saturday, September 9, 2023, in New Delhi.
Biden landed in New Delhi on Friday, September 8, 2023, evening and was greeted with songs and a musical show at the airport. He met with the Indian Prime Minister shortly afterwards.
The discussion marked the second in-person meeting between Biden and Modi since June, when the Indian leader made an official state visit to the White House.
In their over 50-minute talks, the two leaders deliberated on India’s G20 presidency, cooperation in nuclear energy, critical and emerging technologies such as 6G and artificial intelligence, and ways to fundamentally reshape multilateral development banks.
In a joint statement, the two leaders called on their governments to continue work on transforming the India-US strategic partnership across all dimensions.
They reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains.
The statement also noted that Biden and Modi “re-emphasized the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens are critical to the success our countries enjoy and that these values strengthen our relationship.”
The leaders vowed to “deepen and diversify” the bilateral major defence partnership.
According to the statement, the U.S President welcomed issuance of a Letter of Request from India’s defence ministry to procure 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft from American defence giant, General Atomics.
It noted that the two leaders also welcomed completion of the Congressional notification process and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India.
Additionally, Modi and Biden reaffirmed commitment to G20 and expressed confidence that the outcomes of the summit will advance shared goals.
Furthermore, the U.S and India reaffirmed their support for “a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific” as members of the Quad alliance, which also includes Australia and Japan.
Modi welcomed President Biden to the next Quad leaders Summit which will be hosted by India in 2024.
President Biden reaffirmed his support for a reformed UNSC with India as a permanent member, and welcomed India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29.
Biden And Modi Welcome Space Collaboration Efforts
Biden congratulated Modi as well as the scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing at the south polar region of the Moon, and the successful launch of India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1.
Having set a course to reach new frontiers across all sectors of space cooperation, the leaders welcomed efforts towards establishment of a Working Group for commercial space collaboration under the existing India-US Civil Space Joint Working Group.
India and the US also intend to increase coordination on planetary defence to protect the Earth and space assets from the impact of asteroids and near-Earth objects, including US support for India’s participation in asteroid detection and tracking via the Minor Planet Center, it added further.
Moreover, the leaders affirmed the importance of efforts to close the gender digital divide in the digital economy, noting a G20 commitment to halve the digital gender gap by 2030 and expressed support for the Women in the Digital Economy Initiative.