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New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United States to be part of the first in-person summit of the leaders of the “Quad” countries – Australia, India, Japan and the United States – that will be hosted by President Joe Biden next week, the centre today confirmed.

Joining PM Modi will be Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan and President Joe Biden of the USA for the summit in Washington on September 24.

“The Leaders will review progress made since their first virtual Summit on March 12 and discuss regional issues of shared interest,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.

“As part of their ongoing efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, they will review the Quad Vaccine initiative which was announced in March this year,” it added.

The vaccines initiative from the first summit stalled after India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, was hit by a devastating and virulent second wave of infections and halted vaccine exports.

Critical and emerging technologies, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber security, maritime security, humanitarian assistance, climate change and education will be discussed at the meeting, said New Delhi.

The Quad meeting comes after President Biden’s image has taken a battering over the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Hosting the leaders of the Quad demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

PM Modi is also scheduled to address the General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25 in New York.

The theme for this year’s General Debate is ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.0

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