Friday, June, 21,2024

PM Modi, Biden bilateral talks focussed on how to mitigate challenges in Indo-Pacific through India-US cooperation: Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra

Washington DC: Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Thursday (local time) said that bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Joe Biden emphasised the nature of challenges, including strategic ones, faced by India and the US in the Indo-Pacific region and what both the countries need to do to mitigate them through cooperation.
Addressing a special media briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden State visit to the United States, the foreign secretary said, "Both Prime Minister and the President focused on the challenges that our strategic interests face all over different parts of the world. Naturally, in this regard, the developments in the Indo-Pacific area have always been an important area of cooperation between India and the US. And that cooperation takes place across multiple domains." He elaborated on the various avenues of cooperation in the Indo-Pacific that the two leaders discussed in their bilateral meeting.
"One, it takes place through our individual partnerships with the countries of the Indo-Pacific. Two, it takes in terms of that the two countries share their assessment of what is the kind of challenges that we face in the region, what we can do together to meet those challenges, what is the nature of those challenges etc."
Prime Minister Modi in his address to the joint session of the US Congress had talked about "dark clouds of coercion and confrontation casting their shadow in the Indo-Pacific".
"The stability of the region has become one of the central concerns of our partnership," PM Modi said.
In his address to the US Congress, PM Modi had said, "We share a vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, connected by secure seas, defined by international law, free from domination, and anchored in ASEAN centrality. A region where all nations, small and large, are free and fearless in their choices, where progress is not suffocated by impossible burdens of debt, where connectivity is not leveraged for strategic purposes, where all nations are lifted by the high tide of shared prosperity."
"Our vision does not seek to contain or exclude, but to build a cooperative region of peace and prosperity. We work through regional institutions and with our partners from within the region and beyond. Of this, Quad has emerged as a major force of good for the region," PM Modi said.
During the special media briefing responding to a query on how much of China was discussed in the bilateral talks between PM Modi and Presdient Biden and whether Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific was discussed, Kwatra said that the two leaders discussed resolutions to such challenges in the Indo-Pacific.
"So in their discussion, the Prime Minister and the President focused on the nature of the challenges that the two countries face in the Indo-Pacific, including strategic challenges, and what India and the US need to do across their different parts of the system to ensure that we mitigate those challenges through our cooperation, but at the same time also harness the opportunities that are available in the Indo-Pacific," he added.
"India-US cooperation will serve the global good as we work through a range of multilateral and regional groupings - particularly the Quad- to contribute toward a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific," read a joint statement issued by the White House.
Biden and PM Modi recommitted themselves to empowering the Quad as a partnership for global good, it said.
The two leaders welcomed the progress made at the Hiroshima Summit last month among the four maritime democracies to further advance a positive and constructive agenda for peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
The leaders welcomed progress on the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness, through which Quad partners are providing maritime domain data across the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific regions. The Quad to be hosted in India in 2024 would be another opportunity to continue the dialogue and consolidate cooperation, as per the joint statement.
PM Modi and Biden also committed to continue working in partnership with regional platforms such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative, and ASEAN to achieve shared aspirations and address shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific Region, the joint statement said.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the United States joining the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and President Biden welcomed India's continued participation as an observer in the Partners in the Blue Pacific.
The leaders also welcomed the depth and pace of enhanced consultations between the two governments on regional issues including South Asia, the Indo-Pacific and East Asia and looked forward to our governments holding an inaugural Indian Ocean Dialogue in 2023, the joint statement of PM Modi and Biden added. (ANI)

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