The President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, strengthened relations between the two nations this Friday in defense, technology, and space during a meeting lasting approximately 50 minutes that was not accessible to the press.
The meeting took place at Modi’s official residence a day before the start of the G20 summit, which will take place in New Delhi this weekend.
When Biden and Modi met, Journalists who followed the American president had to wait in vans in front of the official residence, and they were not granted access to the meeting, which is unusual since it is tradition for the press to witness the start of the president’s meetings with other leaders.
After the conference, The White House issued a joint statement in which both leaders committed to continuing to cooperate in areas such as technology, space and defenseThe latter is a particularly important issue for Washington, as Russia has historically been the main supplier of military equipment to India.
More specifically, both leaders expressed satisfaction with the progress made in some of the announcements they made when they met at the White House in June.
Advances in Defense
For example, they welcomed the Beginning of negotiations between the American company General Electric and the Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to produce engines for fighter jets in the Asian country.
They also talked about the progress that has been made in recent weeks to ensure that India buys 31 advanced drones for $3 billion in “MQ” made in the USA.
On the other hand, the two heads of state and government also committed to cooperation in the development of 5G and 6G networks, as well as in the areas of space, artificial intelligence, and quantum technology.
In addition, during the meeting, Biden took the opportunity to congratulate Modi on the success of India’s space mission, which in August managed to successfully reach the moon’s south pole, a previously unexplored region that could contain water.
The two are leaders in commercial matters They agreed to settle a dispute in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over tariffs that India has imposed on some American products, such as blueberries and turkey, the US Trade Representative’s office reported in another statement.
No mention of Ukraine
Although the final communiqué issued after the meeting consisted of 29 points and contained more than 2,200 words, The war in Ukraine was never mentioned.
The war in Ukraine is, among other things, one of the issues that has caused the greatest tension between the US and India since then The Modi government has exploited the conflict to purchase Russian oil at lower prices at a time when the West has reduced its imports.
Despite these tensions in bilateral relations The meeting took place in an atmosphere of “undeniable warmth and trust.” between the two leaders, said Kurt Campbell, Biden’s Asia-Pacific adviser, speaking to journalists who accompanied the president after the meeting.
According to Campbell, One of Biden’s top foreign policy priorities is strengthening ties with IndiaIt is the world’s most populous country and the fifth largest economy, as well as the fastest growing country in the G20.
One aspect of great importance is the role that India plays as a representative of the “Global South” something Biden sees as an opportunity for the United States to build ties with developing countries, Campbell said.
Another fundamental issue is the relationship with China which Biden sees as the biggest challenge in US foreign policy and with which India has had its own tensions, including border conflicts in 2020 that seriously deteriorated relations between the two neighboring countries.
In this regard, the final declaration states: The two leaders reiterated their commitment to the Quad security alliance founded in 2007 as a counterweight to China, which includes the USA and India as well as Australia and Japan.
This is the first visit of a US President to India since that of Donald Trump (2017-2021) in February 2020.
After attending the G20 summit Biden will travel to Vietnam.