Modi-Biden Talk About Afghanistan, H1-B Visa in Bilateral Talks
Prior to the Quad summit, PM Modi participated in a bilateral meet with US President Biden at the Oval Office.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently on a three-day United States visit, held a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden, on the sidelines of the Quad summit.
The meeting was held on Saturday, 25 September, at the White House.
Modi is also set to address the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly later in the day.
Modi-Biden Discuss Taliban & H1-B Visa on Bilateral Talks
Among the range of issues discussed between the two leaders, both India and US reiterated their commitments to respect basic human rights of Afghans.
A joint statement said that the two leaders resolved that the Taliban must abide by the UN Security Council Resolution 2593 (2021), and vow to never use Afghan territory to threaten or attack any country or to shelter terrorists.
"President Biden and Prime Minister Modi called on the Taliban to adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals and to respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and members of minority groups," the statement read.
The joint statement also called for a swift return to democracy in Myanmar.
"The Leaders called for an end to the use of violence, for release of all political detainees, and for a swift return to democracy in Myanmar. They further called for the urgent implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Five Point Consensus," the statement said.
Modi reportedly also brought up the issue of H-1B visas, which affect a lot of Indian professionals living in the US.
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla was reported as saying, “He (Modi) also spoke of the fact that many Indian professionals who work here (in the US) contribute to Social Security. The return of those contributions in the United States is something that affects the number of Indian workers.”
Both the leaders also discussed how India and the US will further scale up cooperation in different spheres and work together to overcome key challenges, such as COVID-19 and climate change.
Modi, in a tweet afterwards, also credited the meeting as having been “outstanding” and lauded Biden’s “leadership on critical global issues” as “commendable”.
Biden Reiterates US Support for India's Entry in UN Security Council
US President Joe Biden also reiterated America's support for India's permanent membership on a reformed United Nations Security Council.
Currently, the UN Security Council comprises five permanent members, Russia, the United Kingdom, China, France and the US, who also enjoy veto power.
Biden also reaffirmed US support for India's entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the joint statement added.
Biden Recalls His India Connect With Modi
In a lighter vein, during his in-person meeting with Modi, Biden also recalled his visit to Mumbai as the then US Vice President.
"When I was in Mumbai as Vice President (of US)… the Indian Press asked me do I have any relatives in India. And I said I am not sure, but in 1972, I got a letter from a person with the last name Biden from India… Next morning, at my press conference, the Indian Press told me you have five Biden’s in India,” he said.
Modi, speaking to the president on the subject, said, "You mentioned about people in India with 'Biden' surname. You had discussed the same with me. I hunted for some documents. I have brought them with me. Maybe these will help you out."
Earlier on Thursday, Modi had met with Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian PM Scott Morrison, and Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, among others.
On Friday, 24 September, Modi said that the Quad summit would work as a 'force for global good' and help 'establish peace and prosperity' in the Indo-Pacific region and the world.
The Quad summit was held at the White House, with Modi, US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga in attendance.
"In a way, our Quad will work as a 'force for global good'. I believe that our cooperation in Quad will ensure peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific as well as the entire world."Prime Minister Narendra Modi
He also said that the Quad's vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations, reported ANI.
"Today, when the world is fighting against Covid-19, we have come here once again for the welfare of humanity."
“On the basis of our common democratic values, Quad has decided to move ahead with positive thought and approach. I would be happy to discuss supply chain or global security, climate action or Covid response or cooperation in technology with Quad members," he added.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)
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