Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be part of the first-ever in-person Quad summit hosted by US President Joe Biden on September 24. Other invitees include Modi’s Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga. The White House said that the four leaders would discuss deepening their ties and advancing practical cooperation on areas like combatting Covid-19 and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.
In March, President Biden hosted the first-ever summit of the Quad leaders in the virtual format that vowed to strive for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, inclusive, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion, sending a subtle message to China.
The Quad summit will take place amidst China’s aggressive behaviour in the resource-rich South China Sea. Beijing claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Following this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed on Tuesday. According to the MEA, PM Modi will address the General Debate of the High-Level Segment of the UNGA Assembly on September 25.
The theme for this year’s United Nations General Debate is “Building Resilience through hope to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations”.
PM Modi’s last visit to the US was in 2019 ahead of the US Presidential Elections. He had attended the mammoth ‘Howdy Modi’ event alongside former President Donald Trump in Houston. The QUAD and UNGA visit will be PM Modi’s first in-person meeting with Biden. The two leaders have met virtually in several multilateral meetings such as G7.