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Real whole govt effort to partner with India under Biden admn: US-India Business Council chief

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Washington, September 20

Under the Joe Biden administration, there is a “real whole government effort” to partner with India and to look at how the two democratic countries can usher in a greater opportunity in the future, said Nisha Desai Biswal, the president of US-India Business Council.

Biswal, who was an assistant secretary of state for Central Asia in the Obama administration, told PTI in an interview that US President Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are pragmatic leaders and they see in each other the ability to advance key goals and priorities.

As the Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, Biswal had played a key role in the US visit of Prime Minister Modi in 2014.

“I think, the (Biden) administration is very eager,… there’s a real whole government effort on the US side on partnering with India,” she said, adding that Modi and Biden enjoy a very warm relationship.

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They have met each other in the past. But later this week, it would be the first time that they would have their face-to-face meeting at the White House.

PM Modi will travel to the US this week to participate in the first in-person Quad summit that is expected to broadly focus on contemporary global challenges, including the Afghan crisis, the Covid pandemic and ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.

In Washington, Modi is expected to hold separate bilateral talks with President Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The Modi-Biden bilateral meeting is expected to take place at the White House on September 23.

“I think they (Biden and Modi) have a warm relationship…But they’re also both extremely pragmatic leaders who have very ambitious agendas and I think that they see in each other the ability to advance key goals and priorities as well,” Biswal said.

The head of the US India Business Council and the senior vice president for South Asia at the powerful United States Chamber of Commerce, Biswal said in recent weeks there has been a slew of visits from the US to India.

Prominent among these include the visit of Special Envoy on Climate Change John Kerry and the Deputy Energy Secretary and the reported visit of the CIA director. Several top-level UD military officials have also made trips to India in recent weeks. PTI

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