President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the White House for the first-ever in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit.
At the Quad summit, leaders will take stock of the progress made by the group since their virtual meeting in March and plan on extending their reach in the Indo-Pacific region, which has become important in US geopolitical strategy to face a confrontational China. The in-person Quad summit shows that US involvement in the Indo-Pacific region seems to be growing in many ways.
Quad is a strategic dialogue between the United States, Japan, Australia and India. The dialogue was initiated in 2007 by Japan. All these four countries have common interests in the Indo-Pacific region. The recent signing of the AUKUS pact between the US, UK, and Australia makes it clear that new alliances are being worked in the region.
Ahead of the first in-person Quad meeting, PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihide Suga have reaffirmed their commitment towards a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, as they reviewed the multi-faceted bilateral relationship and exchanged views on recent global developments, including in Afghanistan.
"We elevated the Quad partnership among Australia, India, Japan and the United States to take on challenges ranging from health security to climate to emerging technologies, engaging with regional institutions," Biden had said on Tuesday at the UN.
PM Modi arrived in the US on an official visit. He will hold the first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden today ahead of the Quad Summit. Both Biden and PM Modi have spoken virtually on multiple occasions after the former, a Democrat, became US President in January. The last telephone conversation between them took place on April 26. Earlier on Thursday, he met Vice President Kamala Harris. He will address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday.
This is PM Modi's 7th US visit after assuming office in 2014. The PM's trip is an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and consolidate ties with Japan and Australia.
On Thursday, Harris met PM Modi, the first meeting between the two leaders. Harris had earlier spoken with Modi over the phone in June during the COVID-19 crisis. Harris is the first woman, the first Black American, and the first South Asian American to be elected Vice President.