Modi, Biden discuss Ukraine and developments in South Asia, Indo-Pacific during virtual meeting
New Delhi, April 11, 2022
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Joe Biden discussed the situation in Ukraine as well as recent developments in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific region during a virtual meeting today.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who are in Washington, DC for the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, were also present at the White House during the interaction, along with their US counterparts, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
A press release from the Prime Minister's Office said the two leaders also had an extensive exchange of views on several regional and global issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic recovery, and climate action.
They also took stock of the significant progress made in bilateral relations in recent years.
Both leaders agreed that further strengthening of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership would be of tremendous benefit to the two countries, and would also contribute to global peace, prosperity and stability.
In his remarks at the meeting, Modi recalled that Biden had said during his visit to Washington in Septeber last year that the India-US partnership could contribute in solving many global problems.
"I totally agree with you. As the world's two largest and oldest democracies, we are natural partners. And the progress that has been made in our relations over the last few years, the new momentum that has been created, perhaps it was something difficult to imagine, even a decade ago from today.
"Our today's talks are taking place at a time when the situation in Ukraine remains very worrisome. Till a few weeks back, more than 20,000 Indians were stranded in Ukraine. And most of them were young students. After putting in lot of efforts, we managed to get them out of there safely, although one student lost his life.
"Throughout this development, I spoke to the Presidents of both Ukraine and Russia over the phone several times. I not only appealed for peace, but also suggested President Putin to have direct talks with the President of Ukraine. The subject of Ukraine has also been discussed in great detail in our Parliament," he said.
Modi said the news of the recent killings of innocent civilians in Bucha city was very worrying.
"We condemned it immediately and have also demanded a fair probe. We hope that the ongoing dialogue between Russia and Ukraine will pave the way for peace," he said.
"We have also laid emphasis on the security of the civilians in Ukraine and the uninterrupted supply of humanitarian aid to them, which you mentioned at the outset. We have sent medicines and other relief materials to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. And on the demand of Ukraine, soon we are sending another consignment of medicines," he said.
Recalling that Biden had said at the very beginning of his term that "Democracies can Deliver," Modi said the success of the India-US partnership was the best way to realize this slogan.
"This year, India is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its independence. And we are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic ties. I am confident that friendship with the United States will remain an integral part of India's development journey over the next 25 years," he added.
In Washington, the White House, in a readout on the discussions, said the two leaders committed to strengthening the U.S.-India relationship through cooperation on clean energy, technology and military cooperation, and expanded economic and people-to-people ties.
"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.
"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.
"The two Leaders also 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," the statement added.