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Modi-Biden Meet: UNSC Seat, Defence Ties, Space Collaboration – Key Takeaways From Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden vowed to take forward their partnership across various domains including space collaboration, technology advancements, extended cooperation in new areas such as Artificial Intelligence, and nuclear energy among others

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PM Narendra Modi holds bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden vowed to take forward their partnership across various domains including space collaboration, technology advancements, extended cooperation in new areas such as Artificial Intelligence, and nuclear energy among others, ahead of the G20 summit that is set to begin today in New Delhi. The 29-paragraph joint statement issued by both the countries is a step further from the goals they had set out last June, during PM Modi's State visit to the US.

In their over 50-minute talks on Friday, the two leaders deliberated upon India's G20 presidency, cooperation in nuclear energy, critical and emerging technologies such as 6G and artificial intelligence, and ways to fundamentally reshape multilateral development banks.

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India-US Joint Statement: Key Takeaways

Permanent seat at United Nations Security Council: President Biden reaffirmed US's long-standing committment to support India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29. "The leaders once again underscored the need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system so it may better reflect contemporary realities and remain committed to a comprehensive UN reform agenda, including through expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of the UN Security Council," the joint statement said.

Trade dispute settlement: Both countries settled the last trade dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over poultry products, and with this, they have mutually resolved all the seven pending trade disputes at the WTO. "The leaders lauded the settlement of the seventh and last outstanding WTO dispute between India and the United States. This follows the unprecedented settlement of six outstanding bilateral trade disputes in the WTO in June 2023,” the joint statement said. The poultry case was filed by the US against India in the WTO in 2012. 

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Jet deal: Taking forward the deliberations on the procurement of American-made fighter jets, the two leaders welcomed the completion of the notification process regarding negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited. The US president welcomed the issuance of a Letter of Request from India’s defence ministry to procure 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft from American defence giant General Atomics, the joint statement said.

Space collaboration: Biden congratulated Modi and the scientists and engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Chandrayaan-3’s historic landing at the south polar region of the Moon along with the successful launch of India's first solar mission. Reiterating their combined efforts towards space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have also commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, the joint statement said. The countries are also "continuing efforts to finalise a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023."

Emerging technologies, AI: Prime Minister Modi and Biden also reaffirmed their commitment to deepen and diversify the India-US Major Defence Partnership through expanded cooperation in new and emerging domains such as space and AI. 

Cancer research: In their previous summit, the leaders had committed to holding a India-US Cancer Dialogue. In their joint statement, they announced the date: it will be launched in November 2023 and the US-India health dialogue in October 2023 in Washington DC. "This dialogue will focus on advancing knowledge in cancer genomics, developing new diagnostics and therapeutics to enhance and strengthen cancer care including for underserved urban and rural communities," the joint statement said.

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