Narendra Modi, Joe Biden, Jill Biden, White House
PM Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. Image tweeted by Modi.

Modi, Biden to have one-on-one meeting ahead of bilateral talks

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US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a one-on-one meeting in the White House on Thursday before holding high-level talks to further cement strategic ties in areas such as defence, space and critical technologies between the two countries.

This visit will affirm the deep and close partnership between the United States and India and the warm bonds of family and friendship that link Americans and Indians together, the White House said on Wednesday as Prime Minister Modi arrived in Washington from New York or his first state visit to the US.

“The visit will strengthen our two countries’ shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific and shared resolve to elevate the technology partnership, including in defence, clean energy and space,” it said.

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According to the White House, the two leaders will discuss ways to further expand educational exchanges and people-to-people ties and work together to confront common challenges from climate change to health security.

Modi’s optimism

Prime Minister Modi has said that his visit to Washington and talks with President Biden will be an “opportunity to enrich the depth and diversity of our partnership”.

India and the US are collaborating closely in science and technology, education, health, defence and security fields, Modi said in his departure statement on Tuesday.

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“Our two countries are also collaborating to further our shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” he said, amidst China’s aggressive actions in the region.

“I am confident that my visit to the US will reinforce our ties based on shared values of democracy, diversity and freedom. Together we stand stronger in meeting the shared global challenges.”

Thursday would begin with President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden greeting Modi for the Official Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn which includes a 21-gun salute.

Also read: Biden to bring up human rights but not lecture Modi on it: White House

Several thousand Indian Americans are expected to attend the event.

Vice President Kamala Harris and the Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff would attend the welcome ceremony.

Modi in Congress

Thereafter, the leaders of the US and India will hold a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, where they are expected to make some opening remarks.

Modi and Biden are scheduled to address a news conference together from the East Room of the White House.

The prime minister would then deliver an address to a joint meeting of the US Congress, which would be attended by Congressmen and senators.

He will be the only third world leader outside of Israel to make such an address twice. Modi earlier addressed the US Congress in 2016.

Biden and the first lady will greet Modi on arrival for the State dinner in the evening. A tent pavilion is being installed on the South Lawns of the White House to accommodate more than 400 guests.

(With agency inputs)

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