Modi, Biden to promote shared interests in Indo-Pacific region and beyond

The two leaders said they look forward to developing a trade and investment partnership for prosperity of working families in India and US

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday. Pic: Twitter

US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have welcomed increased cooperation between the two countries under the Quad grouping. They have a shared vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region with respect to territorial integrity and sovereignty, and international law, stated a joint statement issued in Washington on Saturday (September 25).

During the first in-person bilateral meeting between Biden and Modi at the White House on Friday, the two leaders agreed to promote shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue comprises India, the US, Japan and Australia.
Modi and Biden “affirmed a clear vision that will guide the US-India relationship forward: building a strategic partnership and working together with regional groupings, including ASEAN and Quad members, to promote shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” the joint statement stated.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region, and India and several other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners. The 10-member countries of ASEAN are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.

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India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

Biden and Modi also looked forward to developing a trade and investment partnership that increases prosperity for working families in both countries and finishing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other health challenges.

The leaders also discussed galvanising global efforts to scale up climate action; strengthening democratic values and institutions in support of our respective peoples; and enhancing people-to-people ties that have made both countries stronger, the statement said.

In addition, they said they look forward to the launch of the US-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation to advance cooperation on health, education, and the environment.

As global partners, the United States and India resolved to further strengthen their collaboration in education, science and technology and people-to-people engagement. The Leaders welcomed close consultations through the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue of the Foreign and Defence Ministers of India and the United States to be held later this year.

The leaders celebrated the deep and vibrant ties between the people of both nations, which underpins the special bond between the US and India, and has sustained their partnership for nearly 75 years.

Also read: ‘Unofficial’ Quad meet has climate crisis, Indo-Pacific issue on agenda

They reaffirmed, and encouraged others to embrace, their shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens, and committed to pursue efforts towards sustainable development and global peace and security.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed his deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India by the US. The leaders committed to strengthen their efforts to combat the theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects.

Reflecting shared values and principles, and growing strategic convergence, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi resolved to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, and looked forward to what the United States and India will achieve together.

(With inputs from agencies)

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