Washington: US President Joe Biden plans to host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state dinner this summer, people familiar with the matter said, reported Bloomberg. The White House aims for the state dinner to take place in June but the timing could slip.
PM Modi’s formal state visit is a sign of the deepening US-India relationship in various fields including defence, technology, space exploration, trade and investments. Moreover, the Biden administration advances policies and initiatives for a free and open Indo-Pacific to counter what it sees as a growing threat posed by China and India plays a key role in it. However, a spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment, reported Bloomberg.
India is hosting the Group of 20 (G20) leaders summit in New Delhi in September, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be among the chief topics of discussion. It’s unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the gathering, reported Bloomberg. Biden is also expected to see Modi in Australia in May when the countries convene for the Quad summit along with the leaders of Australia and Japan.
Biden’s dinner party with Prime Minister Modi will be his third official state visit and dinner, following ones for French President Emmanuel Macron in December and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on April 26. Last month, the United States and India unveiled the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, a proposal to exchange advanced defence and computer technology, including the joint production of General Electric Co aircraft engines. It is to be noted that India has not been as outspoken against Putin’s war in Ukraine as the US and its allies would like.
PM Modi’s dialogue, ‘this is not the time for war’ in Ukraine, with Russian President Vladimir Putin was a statement of principle on behalf of what he believes is right and was welcomed by the US. This statement became popular and was praised by international media. He made the statement on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit, in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. ‘Today’s era is not of war and I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today, we will get the opportunity to talk about how we can progress on the path of peace. India and Russia have stayed together with each other for several decades’, PM Modi had said. ‘We spoke several times on the phone about India-Russia bilateral relations and various issues. We should find ways to address the problems of food, fuel security and fertilizers’, he added.
Meanwhile, US political leaders of both parties have sought to strengthen ties with Modi. The partnership on critical technologies is intended to counter Russian influence in India by reducing New Delhi’s historic reliance on Moscow for military hardware, and China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, reported Bloomberg.
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