Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden met on Friday (September 8) and touted the “strong and enduring partnership” between their two countries as a deal was announced ending their latest trade dispute.
The two leaders never leave each other, or almost: their bilateral meeting, on the eve of the G20 summit in New Delhi, follows a sumptuous state visit by Narendra Modi to the White House in June.
And the Indian Prime Minister said Friday, in the joint press release, “impatient” to receive the American president again next year for a meeting of the Quad.
This diplomatic format dear to the White House, in the midst of an offensive in Asia to stand up to China, brings together India, the United States, Australia and Japan around security issues.
Offensive in Asia
During the meeting, the two leaders estimated, according to their press release, that the G20 summit would “advance common objectives” on the economic level, in particular by “deep reform and strengthening of the multilateral development banks”, which is Joe Biden’s big goal in New Delhi.
And, just after their meeting, Washington announced that the two countries had reached an agreement to resolve their last outstanding dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO), which concerned the import into India of agricultural products from the United States. .
Customs duties will thus be reduced for frozen American turkeys and ducks, as well as blueberries and cranberries.
This agreement “represents a significant milestone in the commercial relationship between the United States and India”, said the representative of the White House in charge of commerce (USTR), Katherine Tai, quoted in the press release, who had met in August on this subject the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal.
These announcements, she added, “underline the strength of our bilateral partnership”, while Washington and New Delhi had already put an end to several commercial disputes in June, on the occasion of the State visit to Washington of Narendra Modi.
Joe Biden and Narendra Modi also said they support a “free” and “open” Indo-Pacific region, which is the cautious wording the Biden administration always uses to denounce Chinese ambitions in the region.
The two men also promised to continue the projects launched during Narendra Modi’s state visit, in terms of technology, industry and defence.
Joe Biden also reiterated that he supported giving India a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
This meeting sparked a controversy among the journalists who accompany the American president, and who were kept away, which is unusual.
The Indian government broadcast slow motion and soundless images of Joe Biden and Narendra Modi in deep conversation in the residence of the Hindu nationalist head of government.
“India remains a country under construction” in terms of democracy and human rights, said a White House adviser, Kurt Campbell, during a press briefing following the meeting.
“The key here is to maintain a respectful dialogue and confront certain challenges with a certain humility, given the problems we have had in our own country,” he said.
In their statement, Joe Biden and Narendra Modi said their support for “common values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism. »