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Biden and Modi to hold virtual meet on Monday ahead of 2+2 meeting

Biden and Modi to hold virtual meet on Monday ahead of 2+2 meeting

New York: The US is turning every stone on its diplomatic path to force India change its avowed neutrality on Ukraine crisis.

The latest of the US attempts, following the whirlwind visit of top US official to New Delhi days ago, is a virtual summit between President Biden and PM Modi scheduled to take place on Monday, according to IANS.

US President Joe Biden would discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Russian invasion of Ukraine ahead of the 2+2 meeting between two nations, the White House announced on Sunday.

The relations between two nations have been at odds over Ukraine crisis after India refused to toe the US line, sticking to its neutral position, staying away from resolutions against Russia at UN.

The US, however, has gone on persuading India to take a harder line against Russia.

Biden's Spokesperson Jen Psaki reportedly said that President Biden would continue close consultations (with India) on the consequences of Russia's brutal war against Ukraine.

The spokesperson further added that Biden would seek to mitigate its Russian invasion's destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets.

At the upcoming 2+2 meeting India's external Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would hold talks with their American counterparts Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday.

They would discuss issues ranging from bilateral to global situation, nevertheless India is not subscribing to American stance on Ukraine.

The talks could open the way for cooperation between India and the US to help countries facing a crisis from the rising prices and shortages of wheat.

India's huge stockpile of wheat, estimated to be at 100 million tonnes, could be deployed to help countries facing a food crisis, according to IANS.

Spokesperson Jen Psaki, hinting at Indo-Pacific featuring highly in the talks, said deepening ties between both governments would be on the agenda.

Both the nations would discuss open rules-based international order to strengthen security, democracy and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, she said.

US partnership with India to President Biden is one of the most important relationships the US has in the world, she added.

The Pentagon announced that Singh and Austin would meet on Monday morning before the 2+2 meeting.

Earlier on Sunday, Rajnath Singh said he would be leaving for US Sunday night for a visit from April 10 to April 15.

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