Washington DC: In one sense, a disappointing outcome. No mention of the looming Taliban threat. No word on Pakistan and China’s blatant support to the hardliners in control of Afghanistan. Only mutual words of praise and stereotypical pledges to take bilateral relations forward ahead of the Quad summit schduled later – to sum up the Biden-Modi meeting.
If you had expectations from the first-ever in-person bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, then you should be in for a damp squib. Diplomacy at its best – no fishing in troubled waters and only stale talks that bear no fruits in the longer run.
“I thank you for the warm welcome accorded to me and my delegation. Earlier, we had an opportunity to hold discussions, & at that time you had laid out the vision for India-US bilateral relations. Today, you are taking initiatives to implement your vision for India-US relations,” Modi was all praise for the Democrat as quoted by ANI.
And he added, “I see that under your leadership the seeds have been sown for India-US relations to expand.”
And Biden reciprocated, “I’ve long believed that US-India relationship can help us solve a lot of global challenges. In fact back in 2006 when I was the Vice President, I said that by 2020 India and US will be among the closest nations in the world.”
Give us something new Modiji and Sir Biden!
Had an outstanding meeting with @POTUS @JoeBiden. His leadership on critical global issues is commendable. We discussed how India and USA will further scale-up cooperation in different spheres and work together to overcome key challenges like COVID-19 and climate change. pic.twitter.com/nnSVE5OSdL
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 24, 2021
And Modi continued with his vision for the future, “Today’s bilateral summit is important. We are meeting at the start of the third decade of this century. Your leadership will certainly play an important role in how this decade is shaped. The seeds have been sown for an even stronger friendship between India and USA.”
The leaders did dwell upon trade and technology and their imperative role in being a unifying factor. “Technology is becoming a driving force. We have to utilise our talents to leverage technology for the greater global good. Trade holds importance on its own b/w India and the US. In this decade, we can be complementary to each other. There are many things with the US, that are needed by India and many things with India that can be useful for the US. Trade will be a major sector in this decade.”
Biden and Modi broached the Mahatma Gandhi angle too and underlined the relevance of his ideologies in the current scheme of things.
Now, a few queries placed before the two world leaders – wasn’t it expected that they would delve into the growing incidence of terror activities in the world? A vehement objection to the horrifying plight of women in Afghanistan was not even touched upon. The Chinese ambition in the South China Sea failed to make it to the agenda.
Modi tweets he had an outstanding meeting with Biden – now as per what has been reported, what is so outstanding about it Sir?
Hours later, news agency ANI tweeted quoting sources, “PM Modi and US President Joe Biden, counter-terrorism was a key focus area. The pernicious role played by Pakistan in Afghanistan and the need for international community to be cognizant of this found resonance with US interlocutors.” Sources? Why?
Or may be the outbursts have been kept in store for the Quad summit with Australia and Japan in tow.