Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for the United States for his first major foreign visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. He will meet US President Joe Biden at the White House, said foreign secretary Harsh Shringla during a press conference, adding that meetings with V-P Kamala Harris and CEOs of leading US companies.
The Prime Minister’s delegation will include External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla among others. Ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit, Shringla said, “PM Modi will leave Wednesday morning and will return on September 26. This is his first major foreign visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the highlights will be the meeting with US President Joe Biden Biden at the White House. This is the first in person meeting of Prime Minister Modi with President Biden. The two leaders have been in regular contact over the last few months.” The two leaders will have a bilateral meet to bolster security, defence and trade, said Shringla, adding that a discussion will also be held on Afghanistan situation since the Taliban takeover. In Washington, PM Modi will meet a number of top executives of major American companies, Mr Shringla said. “The Prime Minister will participate in the Covid-19 meeting. The two leaders will have bilateral to bolster security, defence and trade and also discuss Afghanistan, dismantling of global terror network,” he said.
“PM Modi will also have bilateral meeting with Australia and Japan. QUAD and AUKUS are not the same. QUAD’s vision is to look at the Indo-pacific as a free open region. There are a wide array of initiatives that QUAD has undertaken. The AUKUS is a security alliance. It is not relevant to QUAD,” he added. Talking about the Covid-19 vaccination, he said, “We will be reciprocal in our vaccine policy with nations. The US has been evolving its policy. We were earlier in a category and not we are in another,” Shringla said. The last time Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the US was in September 2019 when he and the then US President Donald Trump addressed the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston.