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Modi-Biden virtual meeting ahead of India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue today

The virtual interaction between PM Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden will precede the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue (File image courtesy: Twitter/@POTUS)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with the US President Joe Biden later today ahead of the fourth India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue taking place in Washington tonight.

Both Modi and Biden will review the ongoing bilateral cooperation and exchange views on recent developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest.

"The virtual meeting will enable both sides to continue their regular and high-level engagement aimed at further strengthening the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership," said the Indian Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The Leaders' virtual interaction will precede the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue which will be led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on the Indian side and their US counterparts, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Lloyd is scheduled to welcome Singh in an enhanced honour cordon ceremony at the Pentagon at 9 AM Washington time.

The US said that this year's dialogue will celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations and reaffirm the importance of the Comprehensive and Global Strategic Partnership between the two democracies in ensuring international peace and security. It will also reaffirm their shared commitment to a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

"The 2+2 Ministerial is an important opportunity to advance our shared objectives across the breadth of the US-India Strategic Partnership, including enhancing our people-to-people ties and education cooperation, building diverse, resilient supply chains for critical and emerging technology, scaling up our climate action and public health cooperation, and developing a trade and investment partnership to increase prosperity for working families in both countries," said the US Department of State.

"It is also a chance to highlight the growing Major Defence Partnership between the United States and India. The relationship between the world's largest democracies is built on a foundation of common values and resilient democratic institutions, and the shared Indo-Pacific interests of a rules-based international order that safeguards sovereignty and territorial integrity, upholds human rights, and expands regional and global peace and prosperity," it added.

As Washington was getting ready to host the Dialogue, the White House Press Secretary had reaffirmed the strength of the strategic relationship between the two countries.

"President Biden believes our partnership with India is one of the most important relationships we have in the world. As you know, he met with Presi- — Prime Minister Modi and other Quad leaders in March. He expects that at this 2+2, Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin will continue driving forward our work with India and our shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said on Friday.

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