G20 Summit: What’s on agenda for Modi-Biden bilateral meet?
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the G20 Summit from September 9 – 10. One of the discussions will be with US President Joe Biden at the PM’s residence later on Friday.
The meeting will see meaningful progress on several issues, including the procurement of predator drones, on 5G and 6G spectrum, the GE jet engine deal, collaboration on technologies and progress in the civil nuclear area, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said.
On whether a joint statement from the G20 members could be expected, Sullivan said the US is ready to do its part but he wouldn’t make predictions. “Will every country step up … If the answer to that is yes, then we will get a joint statement,” he mentioned.
He didn’t confirm reports that Washington is planning to announce a landmark rail deal with India and the Arab World, but said “connectivity from India, across the Middle East, to Europe … will bring a significant number of economic [and strategic benefits].”
Notable Railway Deal To Connect Middle East
The leaders of the US, India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE hope to announce a major joint infrastructure deal on Saturday that will connect Gulf and Arab countries via a network of railways, Axios quoted two sources with direct knowledge of the plan as saying.
The project will also connect to India through shipping lanes from ports in the Gulf. It is one of the key initiatives Washington is pushing in the Middle East as Beijing’s influence in the region grows. It could be one of the key deliverables Biden wants to present during the G20 Summit.
The idea for the joint infrastructure deal came up during discussions held over the last 18 months in another forum called I2U2, according to the two sources. Established in late 2021, the forum includes the US, India, Israel and the UAE.
The initiative comes amid the Biden administration’s prominent diplomatic push for a mega-deal with Saudi Arabia that could also involve a normalisation agreement between the Kingdom and Israel. Keep an eye out on the page for further updates.