Biden ‘very excited’ about G20 visit to India
Washington, Sep 7 (IANS) President Joe Biden is “excited” to visit India for the G20 leaders’ meeting, the US said. And his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be a “follow-on” to their “very robust” discussions during the latter’s state visit in July.
Biden reaches New Delhi on Thursday and will hold a bilateral meeting with his host Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday evening, John Kirby, the US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters on Wednesday previewing the visit, the day after Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Adviser, briefed reporters at the White House.
“He’s very excited about the important initiatives that he will be championing at the G20,” Kirby said, adding, “His focus is going to be on delivering economic opportunity for developing countries, making progress on key priorities for the American people, from climate to technology, and showing our commitment to the G20 itself as a viable, if not vital, forum to tackle these sorts of issues.”
One of the main goals of the US at the G20 would be to “help reshape and scale up multilateral development banks like the IMF, like the World Bank,” said the US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.
“We know that these institutions are some of the most effective tools for mobilising transparent and high-quality investment in developing countries. And that’s why the US has championed the major effort that is currently underway to evolve these institutions so that they’re up for the challenges of tomorrow.”
The National Security Council spokesperson pointed to a request sent by the Biden administration to US Congress for $25 billion in additional funding for the World Bank and said the US was working with partners “to see if they can pursue similar contributions”.
On the Modi-Biden bilateral meeting, Kirby said it’s certainly going to be an “appropriate follow-on to their very robust bilateral discussions here”.
“I think you can expect that they will discuss the agenda for the G20, particularly the economic cooperation and multilateral investment opportunities that stand before the G20, and the President’s strong desire to see multilateral development bank reform and reshaping continue.”
He added: “I have little doubt that they will also talk about the shared challenge of climate change and how much we are hoping to have a robust discussion at the G20 about a transition to clean energy technology and to see more countries, more G20 countries, invest in more clean energy technology as well as efforts to curb greenhouse gases.”
The war in Ukraine will also figure in their discussions but the US is unlikely to press India any further on its purchase of Russian oil products.
“Every nation has to make their own sovereign decisions. We have been nothing but clear and consistent with all of our allies and partners about where we come in on economic opportunities and trade with Russia. But every just — every sovereign nation has to make these decisions for themselves.”
Asked if the US believes the G20 meeting will yield a joint declaration, Kirby that that is a hope but said he expects the Russian and Chinese delegations — their presidents are skipping the summit — “are less likely to sign on to language that the rest of the international community is more uncomfortable signing on to” as regards the war in Ukraine.
“But we’d like to see that, absolutely.”
The previous summit in Bali, in 2022, had failed to yield a joint declaration.