First Modi-Biden summit likely in US on September 23-24

NEW DELHI: The United States and India are looking at September 23-24 as possible dates for the first bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Washington. There is also preparation for a Quad summit on one of these dates.
However, the unexpected political situation in Japan where Prime Minister Suga Yoshide announced that he is stepping down, apparently over failure to control the Covid-19 spread, may make the Quad scheduling a little uncertain. Suga will probably leave at the end of the month. He is not a candidate for either the post of the LDP party president or the next PM. So it is unclear whether Suga will be able to travel to the US in the last week of September.
If all goes to plan, Modi is likely to cram in at least three big events — an address at the UN General Assembly in a year when India is a member of the UNSC, the first bilateral summit with Biden and possibly the first in-person Quad summit. Certainly, the first two events are currently on track. PM Modi is scheduled to address the UNGA on September 25, according to the provisional list circulated.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who spoke to Biden on Saturday, told journalists he would be travelling to Washington DC for the Quad summit “in autumn”, which has been interpreted to mean any time in the next couple of months, due to the uncertainty of the Japanese situation.
The Modi-Biden bilateral summit comes after tectonic changes in Afghanistan and regional geopolitical equations. However, the challenge from China for both countries remain high, hence the focus on the Quad meeting. Both countries have been battered by Covid-19, and both nations are hoping to take forward a vaccine partnership that could see India producing more vaccines to export to other countries.

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