Biden Hosts PM Modi on the White Home as He Seeks to Bolster Ties


President Biden rolled out the purple carpet on Thursday morning to formally welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to the White Home for a pomp-filled state go to supposed to woo the world’s most populous nation at a time of battle with Russia and rising rigidity with China.

Mr. Biden celebrated India’s rise with a lavish show of friendship marked by marching bands, honor guards and a multigun salute on the South Garden, to be adopted by an Oval Workplace assembly and a gala state dinner. Mr. Modi agreed to hitch Mr. Biden within the East Room to fulfill with journalists and also will handle a joint session of Congress within the afternoon.

The go to represents the most recent transfer on the geopolitical chess board as Mr. Biden seeks extra allies towards more and more aggressive governments in Moscow and Beijing. India, which remained nonaligned in the course of the Chilly Conflict, has refused to hitch the American-led coalition aiding Ukraine in its battle towards invading Russian forces. And whereas it shares a sure enmity for China, it has not absolutely subscribed to Washington’s technique for coping with the Asian big.

The 2 leaders plan to announce a protracted record of initiatives advancing cooperation on telecommunications, semiconductors, synthetic intelligence and different areas, based on administration officers. Mr. Modi intends to signal the Artemis Accords, a set of rules governing peaceable exploration of the moon, Mars and different celestial our bodies, and the 2 will announce a joint mission to the Worldwide House Station in 2024.

Among the many most concrete agreements to be introduced, officers mentioned, shall be a deal between Normal Electrical and the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Restricted to fabricate in India F414 engines used to energy the Boeing F/A-18E/F Tremendous Hornet. The 2 sides will even announce that India will proceed with a long-stalled $3 billion buy of MQ-9B Predator drones from Normal Atomics.

The army {hardware} gross sales might assist proceed to wean India off Russian arms suppliers, however in any other case officers previewing the go to supplied no indications that Mr. Modi would transfer nearer to backing Ukraine within the battle, nor have been there any concrete examples of elevated cooperation to counter China’s assertive strikes within the Indo-Pacific area.

Administration officers urged the assembly was only one step in an evolution of India’s stance on the Ukraine battle, a part of what they characterised as “bending the arc of India’s engagement,” so New Delhi will be useful in encouraging diplomacy when the time for negotiations ultimately arrives.

However in wooing Mr. Modi, it was clear that Mr. Biden was taking a gentle strategy to backsliding on democracy in India, the place the federal government has cracked down on dissent and hounded opponents. He’ll elevate human rights points, officers mentioned, however they used the phrase “respectful” greater than as soon as to characterize the president’s strategy.

They thought of it a victory that the administration had persuaded Mr. Modi, who famously refuses to carry information conferences, to fulfill with reporters alongside Mr. Biden, as most main world leaders do after they go to the White Home. Even then, the White Home prevented utilizing the time period “information convention”; its public schedule mentioned the leaders would “take questions from the press” within the East Room.

The state dinner, solely the third of Mr. Biden’s presidency, shall be held on the South Garden in a pavilion draped in inexperienced with saffron-colored flowers at each desk, the colours of the Indian flag. Lotus blooms, an necessary image in India, shall be included all through the décor. Photos of the bald eagle and the peacock, the nationwide birds of the 2 international locations, shall be displayed because the backdrop when the leaders provide their conventional toasts.

The menu shall be vegetarian, in accordance with Mr. Modi’s food plan, with an optionally available fish entree. The primary course shall be a marinated millet and grilled corn kernel salad with compressed watermelon and avocado sauce, adopted by a most important course of stuffed portobello mushrooms and creamy saffron-infused risotto. A sumac-roasted sea bass shall be accessible upon request. A rose and cardamom-infused strawberry shortcake shall be served for dessert.

Joshua Bell, the Grammy-winning violinist, will carry out, as will Penn Masala, a South Asian a cappella group based by college students on the College of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Marine Band chamber orchestra.

“After years of strengthening ties, the U.S.-India partnership is deep and expansive as we collectively deal with world challenges,” Dr. Biden informed reporters on Wednesday in previewing the occasion. “However our relationship isn’t solely in regards to the authorities. We’re celebrating the households and friendships that span the globe, those that really feel the bonds of house, in each of our international locations.”


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