Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden are set to cover a range of crucial topics over the next two days. Both leaders are expected to delve into matters such as upholding a free and open Indo-Pacific, deepening trade relations, enhancing security cooperation, and addressing contentious global issues like the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

The significance of PM Modi’s visit is underscored by his invitation to address a joint session of the United States Congress, an honor bestowed upon select foreign dignitaries.

The discussions between PM Modi and President Biden will prioritize the shared commitment to a free, open, prosperous, and secure Indo-Pacific region. This strategic approach aims to counterbalance China’s growing influence, with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) playing a crucial role. By bolstering India as a democratic stronghold in the region, the US seeks to establish a resilient alliance that upholds democratic values and safeguards shared interests. The leaders will explore avenues to strengthen the Quad’s impact and elevate their strategic technology partnership, including defense cooperation.

Defense cooperation will be a significant focus of the discussions, as the US aims to nurture India’s defense capabilities and reduce its reliance on Russian military hardware. Bilateral agreements on defense cooperation, particularly in areas such as critical technology transfer and co-development of advanced military equipment, are expected to be signed. The announcement of the procurement of 31 MQ-9B Predator drones for the armed forces is anticipated, further enhancing India’s defense capabilities.

Amid global concerns, the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely be addressed during the talks. President Biden may seek PM Modi’s perspective on the matter, urging India to adopt a principled stance. While India has maintained neutrality thus far, the discussions will provide an opportunity for the leaders to exchange views and explore potential avenues for cooperation in resolving the crisis.

Another significant issue that may come to the forefront is India’s stance on farm subsidies within the World Trade Organization (WTO). India has consistently emphasized the need for a review of the WTO’s approach to farm subsidies, given their impact on the food security requirements of developing countries. PM Modi may raise this crucial point with President Biden, advocating for a revision of the formula used by the WTO to calculate domestic farm subsidies extended by developing nations. The discussion on this matter will reflect India’s commitment to fair trade practices and ensuring the welfare of its agricultural sector.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden engage in these critical discussions, their interactions hold the potential to strengthen the Indo-US partnership on multiple fronts. By addressing regional security challenges, deepening economic ties, and engaging in open dialogue on global issues, both leaders are poised to further cement the strong bond between their nations. This state visit signifies the enduring commitment to a long-term strategic partnership, bolstered by shared values and a shared vision for a better future.

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