Indian envoy Taranjit Sandhu shares six 'broad elements' of PM Modi's US visit

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India's ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu
India's ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu

Washington [US], September 22 (ANI): Indian ambassador Taranjit S Sandhu on Wednesday highlighted six "broad elements" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's US visit including bilateral meetings with US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Sandhu said, "Prime Minister's visit to the United States has six broad elements. So, first is a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden. Second is the meeting with the Vice President, Kamala Harris. The third is the Quad Summit. Fourth is the interactions with Prime Ministers of Australia, and Prime Minister of Japan separately, then there is an interaction with select industry leaders and finally, there is the UN section."

"We are still under pressure of COVID and the US particularly has that but President Biden has gone ahead and taken the initiative to invite PM Modi for his first one-on-one interaction," the envoy said.

Talking about the PM Modi meeting with Biden, Sandhu said that this is not the first time they are meeting as in 2014 when PM Modi came for the first time, then-Vice President Joe Biden had hosted him for a lunch and in 2016, during a historic address to US Congress Vice President had presided over. "So, it's a continuation of that interaction."

Talking on ties between India and the US, the envoy said in the last 20 years, there has been steady progress, whether it was then President Clinton, followed by then President George W Bush, and then after that, then President Obama, and then, of course, then President Trump, but during President Biden's first 100 days, there have been intense interactions between both countries despite the COVID-19 and other limitations.

"You will recall that there have been 3 direct phone calls between 2 of them, there are 2 major summits," he said, adding that "We have had a lot of interactions, visits by cabinet ministers from the US and also our external affairs minister, and the foreign secretary came here. So, the intensity of interaction has increased as also the content."

He said Quad is a grouping of four like-minded countries (India, US, Japan, and Australia) which have come together to focus on international issues and problems.

"The first concrete example of COVID cooperation was the vaccines. So, it's US technology, Japanese finance, Australian lift power, and India's production capacity, and they are together, we are going to manufacture 1 billion doses in India, and that is very much part and parcel of the statement which Quad has come out," the envoy said.

The envoy also pointed out the issue of technology and said, "On the second side, there is the issue of technology and emerging technologies, again, in this, all the four countries have strengths, and they are coming together. The third is the issue of the environment in that climate change."

"You are aware India has one of the largest renewable energy programmes, and solar is an important part of that, and battery technology is important again. And here to all the four countries are coming together in their commitment. At this summit, they will be some other areas like infrastructure like semiconductors, etc, in which they will be for the movement. So all in all, it will also provide an opportunity to discuss many issues, including global challenges," he added.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Global COVID-19 Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden. He, who began his 4-day visit today, will address the UN General Assembly and attend the Quad Summit as well as hold a bilateral meet with Biden at the White House. (ANI)

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