G20 Summit: Modi, Biden meet to review ties

New York: On the sidelines of the G-20 summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a quick pull-aside with US President Joe Biden, where they talked about Ukraine and exchanged greetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

A press release issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Modi met Biden on the “margins” of the G-20 leaders’ summit, where they “reviewed the continuing deepening of the India – US strategic partnership”. It is understood that the meeting was not a structured bilateral meeting but rather a conversation held on the go.

There was also a separate three-way discussion between Biden, Modi and the G-20 host, Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The foreign ministry noted the two leaders expressed satisfaction about the close cooperation between India and US in new groupings such as the Quad and I2U2. “They reviewed the continuing deepening of India-US strategic partnership including cooperation in future oriented sectors like critical and emerging technologies, advanced computing, artificial intelligence, etc.,” said the MEA statement.

Further, the two leaders discussed “topical global and regional developments, ” which refers to the Ukraine conflict and its implications.

“PM Modi thanked President Biden for his constant support for strengthening the India-US partnership. He expressed confidence that both countries would continue to maintain close coordination during India’s G-20 Presidency,” it said.

The White House did not issue a readout on the bilateral India-US meet, but gave a short statement.

“Facing significant global challenges, the Leaders discussed how the G20 continues to demonstrate its collective capacity to bring together major economies to advance sustainable and inclusive growth in our economies and beyond, tackle the ongoing climate, energy, and food crises, strengthen global health architecture and promote technological transformation,” said the US statement.

Modi reiterates calls for ceasefire in Ukraine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his call for a return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine, saying the members of the G20 should show “concrete and collective resolve” to ensure peace and security in the world.

“I have repeatedly said that we have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine,” Modi said in his address, speaking in Hindi.

He emphasised that finding a solution to the Ukraine crisis will be a focus of India’s presidency of the G20, which begins in December.

“The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world. I am confident that next year when the G20 meets in the holy land of Buddha and Gandhi, we will all agree to convey a strong message of peace to the world,” he said.

Noting that world leaders had made a serious effort to take the path of peace after World War 2, Modi said, “Now it’s our turn. The onus of creating a new world order for the post-Covid period lies on our shoulders. The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony and security in the world.”

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