- PM Modi-US President Joe Biden held virtual meeting, discussed global challenges
- US President Joe Biden welcomed India's humanitarian support to Ukraine
- PM Modi said he hope through talks between Russia and Ukraine, a path for peace would come out
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Monday held a virtual meeting to review bilateral cooperation between the two nations on a range of issues.
President Joe Biden in his opening remarks said, "We share a strong & growing major defence partnership. The majority of our partnership is a deep connection between our people and our shared values. Our friendship and our shared values. I want to welcome India's humanitarian support for the people of Ukraine."
"The United States and India are going to continue our close consultation and how to manage the stabilising effects of this Russian war. Our continued consultation and dialogue are key to ensuring US-Indian relationship continues to grow deep and stronger," Biden said.
"It's always good to see you. I am looking forward to seeing you in Japan on 24th May (Quad summit)," Biden told PM Modi.
PM Modi in his initial remarks said, "I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you virtually today and with two of your ministers and your ambassador. We take same concerns about the global challenges we faced during Covid-19, advancing health securities and tracking economic crisis."
Speaking on Ukraine situation, PM Modi said, "Recent news of the killing of innocent citizens in Bucha city was very concerning. We immediately condemned it and also demanded an impartial probe. We hope that through the talks between Russia and Ukraine, a path for peace would come out."
"I have spoken with Presidents of both Ukraine and Russia over telephone, several times. I not only appealed to them for peace but also suggested President Putin to hold direct talks with the Ukrainian President. Detailed discussions were held over Ukraine, in our Parliament," PM Modi told Biden.
PM Modi informed US President Biden about how India carried out rescue operation to bring back 20,000 stranded Indian students from war torn country Ukraine.
"Today, our interaction is being held at a time when the situation in Ukraine is a matter of concern. A few weeks back, over 20,000 Indians were stranded in Ukraine, most of them were young students," PM Modi said.
Post the meeting between PM Modi and US President Joe Biden, the White House in a presser said, "The two leaders discussed the destabilizing impacts of Russia’s war against Ukraine, with a particular focus on global food supply. President Biden and Prime Minister Modi looked forward to meeting in person later this spring, in Tokyo, for the Quad summit."
"They emphasized their shared commitment, as leaders of the world’s largest democracies, to respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations in the Indo-Pacific and beyond," White House said.
"They also committed to continue cooperation – bilaterally and multilaterally – on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening global health security, advancing global food security, and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific," it said.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "India is an incredibly important partner. We consult very closely with India on a range of issues. It was an opportunity to discuss consequences of Russia's unprovoked & unjustified war against Ukraine..."
"India condemned civilian killings in Bucha. They supported calls for an independent investigation, provided over 90 tons of humanitarian relief material to Ukraine & its neighbour, used its resources to evacuate almost 150 foreign nationals from 18 countries," she said.
Earlier, before the start of the meeting, US President Joe Biden tweeted that he was looking forward to a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further deepen ties with India.
It is the first of its kind interaction between the two leaders that would coincide with the maiden India-US 2+2 dialogue under the Biden administration.
“This morning, I’m meeting virtually with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. I look forward to further deepening ties between our governments, economies, and people,” Biden said in a tweet.
The two leaders will discuss cooperation on a range of issues, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, countering the climate crisis, strengthening the global economy, and upholding a free, open, rules-based international order to bolster security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
PM Modi-Joe Biden virtual meet is taking place at the same time when Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is meeting his US counterpart Lloyd Austin in Washington as part of India-US 2+2 dialogue.
During the 2+2 meeting, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III said, "India-US now coordinates alongside each other across the Indo-Pacific region and we are committed to working seamlessly with India. I look forward to discussing how we can take further strengthen our partnership."