Biden-Modi Talks Tomorrow, India Looks To Invite Quad Leaders As R-Day Guests

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Biden-Modi Talks Tomorrow, India Looks To Invite Quad Leaders As R-Day Guests

The Indian Express Delhi|September 07, 2023

Xi absence will not affect negotiations for consensus communique: Jaishankar

SHUBHAJIT ROY

COMMITTED TO DELIVER BIG THINGS TOGETHER: U.S. NSA

AS THE United States confirmed Wednesday that President Joe Biden will hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi Friday, ahead of the G20 Sum mit over the weekend, The Indian Express has learnt that the government is considering inviting leaders of the Quad grouping for the Republic Day celebrations next year.

A final call, sources said, will be taken only after ascertaining the availability of the leaders President Biden, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

An invitation to be the Republic Day chief guest is highly symbolic from the government’s perspective. New Delhi has been weaving a strategy with hospitality to decide its chief guest for the Republic Day.

The choice of chief guest every year is dictated by a number of reasons strategic and diplomatic, business interest and international geopolitics.

A formal invitation is usually sent only after ascertaining informally the availability of the leaders.

Sources said the Indian side is working on those lines since all three leaders of the Quad grouping will be here for the G20 Summit. It is India’s turn to host the Quad Leaders’ Summit next year.

As of now, the three leaders have busy schedules ahead. Biden will be heading towards an election year by the end of 2024, and January will be his last State of the Union address before the country goes to polls.

The Australian government celebrates its national day on January 26 as well, as it honours the establishment of the first permanent European settlement on the island continent.

Albanese will be busy with public celebrations and ceremonies, akin to the Republic Day.

Japan usually has its Diet (Parliament) session open in the last week of January, and Prime Minister Kishida is expected to be present there in the first weeks of the Budget session. As of now, the 150-day session next year is scheduled from January 23. If this plan of getting all the Quad leaders together works out, it will be a strong signal to China whose aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region has brought the four countries together.

On Thursday, Biden will travel to New Delhi to attend the G20 Summit. He will participate in a bilateral meeting Friday with Modi and attend the Summit sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

At a press briefing, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden is committed to working with emerging market partners to deliver big things together, news agency PTI reported from Washington.

“That’s what we believe the world will see in New Delhi this weekend,” he said. America’s commitment to the G20, Sullivan said, has not wavered, and it hopes the Summit in New Delhi will show that the world’s major economies can work together even in challenging times.

“So, as we head into New Delhi, our focus is going to be on delivering for developing countries; making progress on key priorities for the American people, from climate to technology; and showing our commitment to the G20 as a forum that can actually, as I said before, deliver,” he said.

“And thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and India’s presidency, we hope we’ll be able to do all of those things,” Sullivan said.

On what the US is bringing to the table at the Summit, the NSA said one of America’s main focuses heading into the G20 is delivering on an agenda of fundamentally reshaping and scaling up the multilateral development banks, especially the World Bank and the IMF. Meanwhile, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar said Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping skipping the G20 Summit was not unusual and would not affect negotiations to produce a consensus communique at the meeting.

The Summit is being held in the context of a “very turbulent” global environment and expectations from the G20 to find solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems are “very high”, Jaishankar told news agency ANI.

Asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Xi not being present would cast a shadow on the Summit, he said, “I do not think it has anything to do with India. I think whatever decision they make, they would know best.” “I think at different points of time in the G20, there have been some Presidents or Prime Ministers who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to come themselves but that country, and that country’s position, is obviously reflected by whoever is the representative on that occasion. So, you had some occasions where you had a President or two, sometimes three, who did not themselves come.” “My sense from talking to the Ministers, certainly, and I know the Sherpas are in touch with each other, they are right now trying to hammer out the final document. I think everybody is coming with a great deal of seriousness,” he said.

This story was featured in September 07, 2023 of The Indian Express Delhi

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