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Biden, Modi discuss bilateral ties, agree to deepen major defense partnership

The two countries announced that India was joining the Combined Military Forces-Bahrain as an associate member.  

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Tokyo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joseph Biden on Tuesday noted that defence and security cooperation is a key pillar of India-US bilateral agenda and exchanged views on regional issues including South Asia, reaffirming their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

A readout from the White House said the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work together for a more prosperous, free, connected and secure world and reviewed the progress made in the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.

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The two sides committed to deepen our Major Defense Partnership, encourage economic engagement that benefits both countries and expand our partnership on global health, pandemic preparedness and critical and emerging technologies.

An official statement from the External Affairs Ministry called the meeting between Modi and Biden “warm and productive”.

“The meeting resulted in substantive outcomes which will add depth and momentum to the bilateral partnership,” the Ministry said.

“Noting that defence and security cooperation is a crucial pillar of the India-US bilateral agenda, both sides discussed how they can further strengthen collaboration. In this context, the Prime Minister invited the US industry to partner with India to manufacture in India under the Make in India and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India programmes which can be of mutual benefit to both countries,” the Ministry said.

The two countries announced that India was joining the Combined Military Forces-Bahrain as an associate member.  

The leaders exchanged views on regional issues of mutual interest including South Asia and in the Indo-Pacific region, reaffirming their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

Modi welcomed the launch of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and stated that India was ready to work closely with all partner countries to shape a flexible and inclusive IPEF taking into consideration the respective national circumstances.

Biden and Modi also renewed their commitment to a bilateral relationship rooted in a shared tradition of democracy, freedom, tolerance, and equal opportunity for all citizens. President Biden welcomed India’s role in the Summit for Democracy’s Year of Action.

They also expressed pride in the achievements of the third Quad Leaders’ Summit held today and the growing strength of the Quad partnership, as per the White House.

The meeting marks a continuation of the regular high-level dialogue between the two Leaders who met in-person in September 2021 in Washington D.C and interacted at the G20 and COP26 Summits thereafter. Most recently they had a virtual interaction on April 11, 2022.

The two leaders agreed to continue their useful dialogue and pursue their shared vision of taking the India-US partnership to a higher level.

The two also welcomed the signing of the Investment Incentive Agreement which enables the US Development Finance Corporation, and launched an India-U.S. Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) to facilitate outcome-oriented cooperation.

Taking forward their growing collaboration in the health sector, India and US extended the longstanding Vaccine Action Programme (VAP) until 2027 to continue joint biomedical research which had resulted in development of vaccines and related technologies.

On Ukraine, Biden said: “We’ll also discuss the ongoing effects of Russia’s …. unjustified invasion of Ukraine and the effect it has on the entire global war order. The U.S. and India will be continuing to consult closely on how to mitigate it.”

Biden also did not respond to shouted questions about whether he would push Modi to take a tougher stance on Russia. The meeting between the two leaders went on for over half hour as per the White House.

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