New Delhi: On the eve of the G20 Summit, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral meetings with President Joe Biden of the United States and also with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at his official residence here today.
Modi said his meeting with Biden was “very productive” and posted on X that both leaders “were able to discuss numerous topics which will further economic and people-to-people linkages between India and USA”. He added: “The friendship between our nations will continue to play a great role in furthering global good”.
In a joint statement after the bilateral talks, the leaders called on their governments to continue the work of transforming the India-U.S. Strategic Partnership across all dimensions of our multifaceted global agenda, based on trust and mutual understanding.
Reaffirming their commitment to building resilient technology value chains and linking defence industrial ecosystems, the leaders recommitted their administrations to promoting policies and adapting regulations that facilitate greater technology sharing, co-development, and co-production opportunities between Indian and U.S. industry, government and academic institutions. They also welcomed continued engagement through an inter-agency monitoring mechanism under the auspices of the bilateral Strategic Trade Dialogue, launched in June 2023.
President Biden is visiting India for the first time in his capacity as President. He congratulated Prime Minister Modi and the people of India on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing near the lunar south pole as well as the successful launch of India’s first solar mission, Aditya-L1. He highlighted deepening cooperation between the two countries in Space. The leaders welcomed efforts towards the establishment of a Working Group for commercial space collaboration under the existing India-US Civil Space Joint Working Group, and informed that to deepen their partnership in outer space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, and are continuing efforts to finalise a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023.
India and the United States also intend to increase coordination on planetary defence to protect planet Earth and space assets from the impact of asteroids and near-Earth objects, including U.S. support for India’s participation in asteroid detection and tracking via the Minor Planet Center.
The two leaders exchanged views on a number of regional and global issues. They agreed that the India- US partnership was beneficial not only for the people of the two countries but also for the global good.
The United States is home to the largest Indian diaspora outside of Asia and is India’s largest export market. Both leaders welcomed the sustained momentum in bilateral cooperation, including in the areas of defence, trade, investment, education, health, research, innovation, culture and people-to-people ties. They further commended the progress in implementing the futuristic and wide-ranging outcomes of Modi’s State visit to the US in June 2023, including under the India-U.S. Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).
Modi also thanked Biden for the consistent support received from the United States in ensuring the success of India’s G20 Presidency. President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further demonstrating how the G20 as a forum is delivering important outcomes. 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.
Modi also termed his meeting with Jugnauth as “very good” and noted that this was a special year for India-Mauritius relations “as we mark 75 years of diplomatic ties between our nations”. He said both leaders discussed cooperation in sectors like infrastructure, FinTech, and culture and reiterated India’s commitment to furthering the voice of the Global South.
Prime Minister Jugnauth thanked Modi for the special invitation extended to Mauritius to participate in the G20 format as a ‘Guest Country’. Modi appreciated the active participation of Mauritius in various Working Groups and Ministerial Meetings of the G20 under the Indian Presidency.
With Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Hasina, Modi discussed the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation including political and security cooperation, border management, trade and connectivity, water resources, power and energy, development cooperation, and cultural and people-to-people ties. Current developments in the region and cooperation in the multilateral fora were also discussed.
The leaders welcomed the operationalization of the Agreement on the use of the Chattogram and Mongla Ports and the commissioning of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline. They also expressed appreciation for the operationalization of the settlement of bilateral trade in the Indian Rupee and encouraged the business community on both sides to utilize the mechanism.
They looked forward to beginning of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), covering trade in goods and services, and protecting and promoting investment.
Expressing satisfaction at the implementation of development cooperation projects, they looked forward to the joint inauguration of the following projects at a convenient date later:
i. Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link
ii. Unit-II of the Maitri Power Plant
iii. Khulna-Mongla Rail Link
Both leaders welcomed the exchange of the following MoUs for strengthening bilateral cooperation:
i. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Digital Payment mechanisms between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Bangladesh Bank.
ii. Memorandum of Understanding on renewal of the Cultural Exchange Program (CEP) between India and Bangladesh for 2023-2025.
iii. Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council (BARC).
With regard to the regional situation, Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation of the burden shouldered by Bangladesh in hosting over a million persons displaced from Rakhine State in Myanmar and conveyed India’s constructive and positive approach to support solutions towards safe and sustainable repatriation of the refugees.
The Indian side welcomed the Indo-Pacific outlook announced by Bangladesh recently. The leaders agreed to continue working together to intensify their wide-ranging engagement.
The two Leaders said they looked forward to continuing interactions at all levels.
– global bihari bureau