PM leaves for US, says visit occasion to strengthen strategic ties

  • | Wednesday | 22nd September, 2021

New Delhi, Sep 22 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his visit to the United States would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and consolidate ties with Japan and Australia.In a statement issued just before leaving for the US, Modi said he will conclude his visit with an address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), focussing on the pressing global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues.Modi left for the US on Wednesday morning, with his office tweeting a picture of him just before boarding the plane. The prime minister will take part in a wide range of programmes in the US.Later on Wednesday night, Modi tweeted a picture in which he can be seen engrossed in file work while on the plane en route to the US.A long flight also means opportunities to go through papers and some file work, Modi said in his tweet along with the picture.In his departure statement, the prime minister said, "I will be visiting the USA from 22-25 September, 2021 at the invitation of His Excellency President Joe Biden of the United States of America. During my visit, I will review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with President Biden and exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest."I am also looking forward to meeting Vice President Kamala Harris to explore opportunities for cooperation between our two nations, particularly in the area of science and technology." Modi said he will participate in the first in-person Quad Leaders" Summit along with Biden, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Premier Yoshihide Suga.The summit provides an opportunity to take stock of the outcomes of the Quad leaders" virtual summit in March and identify priorities for future engagements based on their shared vision for the Indo-Pacific region, he said."I will also meet Prime Minister Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Suga of Japan to take stock of the strong bilateral relations with their respective countries and continue our useful exchanges on regional and global issues," Modi said."My visit to the US would be an occasion to strengthen the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership with the USA, consolidate relations with our strategic partners -- Japan and Australia -- and to take forward our collaboration on important global issues," he said in his departure statement.  The Afghan crisis and its implications, China"s growing assertiveness, ways to stem radicalism and cross-border terrorism and further expansion of the India-US global partnership are expected to be the central focus of the first in-person meeting between Modi and Biden in Washington on September 24.At a media briefing on the prime minister"s visit to the US, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said the developments in Afghanistan will be extensively discussed in the bilateral talks between Modi and Biden and the Indian side will convey that Washington needs to continue to focus on that country.Shringla said Modi will also participate in the COVID-19 global summit being hosted by Biden.After concluding his engagements in Washington, Modi will travel to New York on the evening of September 24 and address the 76th session of the UNGA the next day.The prime minister is also scheduled to meet a number of top executives of major American companies. PTI ASK RC

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