Washington: The maiden bilateral meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on September 24 will allow taking the relationship between the two countries from strength to strength while helping in reinforcing and giving momentum to the Quad grouping, a White House official has said.
Biden will host Modi at the White House for their first bilateral meeting on September 24. Later on that day, Biden will host the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders' Summit at the White House with Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Both Biden and PM Modi have spoken virtually on multiple occasions after the former, a Democrat, became US president in January. The last telephone conversation between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden took place on April 26.
"The leaders will be focused on strengthening the deep ties between their people and shared democratic values that have underpinned the special bond between the United States and India for more than seven decades," a White House official told PTI.
"The Biden-Harris administration has enhanced our partnership with India by working together to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, leading efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking concerted action to address the climate crisis," the official said.
Addressing a press conference earlier, a senior official of the administration said the Biden-Modi meeting would be an opportunity to go from strength to strength, from the point of view of the partnership with India.
This can be done by working together to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific, by taking steps to contribute to a global solution to the COVID-19 pandemic and by taking concerted action to address the climate crisis, the official said.
"So, the bilateral discussion between the US and India will help reinforce and give momentum to the Quad discussion because many of the topics are very much interrelated," the official said.
"Additionally, in the bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, the two leaders will have the opportunity to talk about counter-terrorism, the Afghanistan situation and how we can work together to fight terrorism, our common enemy, as well as about a range of regional issues and developments where we'll have the opportunity to compare notes," said the senior administration official.
The official noted that the relationship between the United States and India goes so much deeper than just a government-to-government relationship.
"It is a relationship between the two peoples. I think Prime Minister Modi and President Biden want to talk about the ways of pulling our countries even closer together at basically every level of interaction between our societies," added the official.