“Climate Change To Be High On Agenda For PM Modi-Biden Meet”: US Official

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Climate change, economic cooperation and multilateral development bank reform will be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden hold a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 summit, senior American officials have said.  Another issue that is likely to figure prominently in the conversation is the Russia-Ukraine war. At a White House press briefing, John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, said Joe Biden will leave for New Delhi on Thursday and meet PM Modi on Friday. Asked about what will be discussed at the bilateral meeting, Mr Kirby said, “Well, without getting too far ahead of the meeting that hasn’t happened, it’s certainly going to be an appropriate follow-on to their very robust bilateral discussions here when we hosted Prime Minister Modi at the White House not long ago for a very complete and official visit.””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,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying. Mr Kirby said he had little doubt that the two leaders will also talk about the shared challenge of climate change and how much the US is hoping to have a robust discussion at the G20 about a transition to clean energy technology. Another issue the NSC Coordinator said he had little doubt would be discussed is the ongoing war in Ukraine and the deleterious effect that it is having on low- and middle-income countries. “In general, security, economic, and diplomatic challenges throughout the Indo-Pacific will certainly be something that they discuss,” he added. While Indian officials are yet to confirm the date of the bilateral meeting, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said that it will happen on Friday. At a separate White House briefing, Mr Sullivan said, “On Friday, President Biden will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi of the Republic of India. And on Saturday and Sunday, the President will participate in the official sessions of the G20 Summit.”The NSA said the United States’ commitment to the G20 hasn’t wavered and they hope this G20 Summit will show that the world’s major economies can work together even in challenging times.”So, as we head into New Delhi, our focus is going to be on delivering for developing countries; making progress on key priorities for the American people, from climate to technology; and showing our commitment to the G20 as a forum that can actually, as I said before, deliver. And thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and India’s presidency, we hope we’ll be able to do all of those things,” he said. The NSA said one of the main focuses for the US heading into the G20 will be delivering on an agenda of fundamentally reshaping and scaling up the multilateral development banks, especially the World Bank and the IMF.”We know that these institutions are some of the most effective tools that we have for mobilising transparent, high-quality investment into developing countries. And that’s why the United States has championed the major effort that is currently underway to evolve these institutions so that they are up to the challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Mr Sullivan. He asserted that the United States will make it clear that it remains committed to the G20 as a critical forum for all of the major economies of the world to come together for global problem-solving. 

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