US President Biden lauds India’s G20 Presidency, holds wide-ranging talks with PM Modi

New Delhi: Modi, Biden reaffirms technology’s defining role in deepening India-US strategic partnership

BY | Saturday, 9 September, 2023

US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday exuded confidence that the outcomes of the G20 Summit will advance the shared goals of accelerating sustainable development, bolstering multilateral cooperation and building consensus around inclusive economic policies to address greatest global challenges.

In their over 50-minute talks, Modi and Biden vowed to “deepen and diversify” the bilateral major defence partnership while welcoming the forward movement in India’s procurement of 31 drones and joint development of jet engines.

The two leaders also deliberated on cooperation in nuclear energy, critical and emerging technologies such as 6G and artificial intelligence, and ways to fundamentally reshape multilateral development banks.

A joint statement issued at the end of the talks said President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further “demonstrating” how the G20 as a forum is delivering important outcomes.

His comments came a day before the leaders of the Group of 20 large economies are set to hold deliberations on pressing global challenges and ways to deal with them at the bloc’s annual summit in New Delhi.

Biden arrived in Delhi at around 7 pm on his first visit to India as the US president. He was greeted at the airport with songs and a musical show.

“The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the G20 and expressed confidence that the outcomes of the G20 Leaders’ summit in New Delhi will advance the shared goals of accelerating sustainable development, bolstering multilateral cooperation, and building global consensus around inclusive economic policies to address our greatest common challenges, including fundamentally reshaping and scaling up multilateral development banks,” the statement said.

The joint statement said the “leaders re-emphasised that the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens are critical to the success our countries enjoy and that these values strengthen our relationship”.

It said the US president welcomed the issuance of a Letter of Request from India’s defence ministry to procure 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft from American defence giant General Atomics.

The two leaders also welcomed the completion of the Congressional notification process and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India.

They “recommitted” to work collaboratively and expeditiously to support the advancement of this unprecedented co-production and technology transfer proposal, the statement said.

Modi and Biden also reaffirmed technology’s defining role in deepening the India-US strategic partnership and lauded ongoing efforts through the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) to build open, accessible, secure, and resilient technology ecosystems and value chains, based on mutual confidence and trust.

“The United States and India intend to undertake a midterm review of iCET in September 2023 to continue to drive momentum toward the next annual iCET review, co-led by the National Security Advisors of both countries, in early 2024,” the statement said.

In a post on ‘X’, Modi said, “Happy to have welcomed @POTUS @JoeBiden to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. Our meeting was very productive.”

“We were able to discuss numerous topics which will further economic and people-to-people linkages between India and USA. The friendship between our nations will continue to play a great role in furthering global good,” he added.

On his part, Biden said on ‘X’, “Hello, Delhi! It’s great to be in India for this year’s G20.”

The joint statement said Biden reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and, in this context, welcomed once again India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29.

“The leaders once again underscored the need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system so it may better reflect contemporary realities and remain committed to a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the UN Security Council,” the statement said.

The two leaders reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains, noting in this respect a multi-year initiative of Microchip Technology, Inc, to invest approximately USD 300 million in expanding its research and development presence in India.

They also referred to Advanced Micro Device’s announcement to invest USD 400 million in India over the next five years.

Modi and Biden also welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bharat 6G Alliance and Next G Alliance, operated by Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, as a first step towards deepening public-private cooperation between vendors and operators.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of Quad in supporting a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.

It said PM Modi looked forward to welcoming President Biden to the next Quad leaders’ summit to be hosted by India in 2024.

The two leaders also called on their governments to continue the work on transforming the India-US strategic partnership across all dimensions and reiterated their support for building resilient global semiconductor supply chains.

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