PM Modi and President Biden’s Bilateral Meeting Sets Tone for G20 Summit in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Joe Biden held a bilateral meeting at the Prime Minister’s residence in Delhi on Friday evening, as President Biden’s Air Force One touched down in the Indian capital ahead of the G20 Summit over the weekend. The Prime Minister’s Office released photos of the two leaders engaged in discussions covering a broad spectrum of issues, aimed at strengthening the ties between India and the US.

Several topics were on the agenda, including a potential deal for jet engines, the procurement of predator drones, and collaboration on critical technologies such as 5G and 6G networks, according to officials.

While there were rumors of a significant rail deal, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan neither confirmed nor denied these reports. However, he emphasized the importance of connectivity extending from India through the Middle East to Europe, as it holds significant economic and strategic benefits for all involved nations.

Following their bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Modi hosted President Biden for a dinner engagement.

Before departing for India, President Biden shared his thoughts on X (formerly Twitter), highlighting the value of engagements like the G20 Summit in enhancing international economic cooperation. He emphasized a focus on addressing American priorities, supporting developing nations, and demonstrating the commitment of the G20 as a forum capable of delivering results.

President Biden is accommodated at the opulent ITC Maurya Sheraton during his visit to Delhi. The White House aims to demonstrate the United States’ capacity to meet global expectations at this summit, particularly as emerging economies unite in groups like BRICS to assert their concerns.

Last month, the BRICS bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, announced plans to admit six new nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

President Biden, who is 80 years old, tested negative for COVID-19 before his departure, following a health scare caused by his wife, Jill Biden, testing positive for the virus.

As for the possibility of a joint statement following the G20 Summit, Jake Sullivan stated that he couldn’t predict its outcome but stressed the US’s readiness to contribute to its success. The key challenges include the situation in Ukraine and climate change, with oil-producing nations seeking less ambitious climate goals. Additionally, China’s efforts to tie access to technology to the declaration’s wording pose another hurdle.

Delhi welcomed an array of global leaders for the G20 Summit, including the Prime Ministers of Australia and the United Kingdom. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, upon his arrival, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to combat Khalistani terror threats.

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