A look back at Indo-US relations as Modi-Biden prep to meet at UNGA

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Sep 21, 2021, 10:40 AM IST

The announcement of the meeting comes in the backdrop of the White House announcing that President Biden will be hosting PM Modi on June 22 Photograph:(WION)

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India and US have increasingly converged their common interests into greater co-operation

A look back at Indo-US relations as Modi-Biden prep to meet at UNGA

India and the US Are the world's two largest democracies. The collaboration between the two extends from intelligence to maritime ties, and even to cyber cooperation. In the last couple of years, the two countries have grown closer, to combat a common enemy - China.

In October 1949, India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru went on a goodwill tour of the United States. He addressed the US House of Representatives and the US Senate and met with US President Harry Truman.

Despite failing to reap any economic benefits for India, the trip managed to lay the groundwork for America's relationship with India.

In December 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower became the first serving US President to visit New Delhi.

Eisenhower's visit helped India acquire adequate financial assistance, and achieve reasonable stability during the Cold War.

Since then, 7 US Presidents have visited India, and 9 Indian Prime Ministers have visited the US. But a strategic partnership between the two countries, emerged only in 2010.

In June 2010, the United States and India formally convened the first US-India strategic dialogue.

A high-ranking delegation of Indian officials visited Washington DC, the US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton called India 'an indispensable partner'.

US President Barack Obama called the relationship 'a defining partnership in the 21st century'.

In November 2010, President Barack Obama visited India for the first time.

He addressed the Indian parliament, and backed India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Obama also announced 14.9 billion dollars in trade deals.

In 2014, the newly-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited by President Obama to the White House.

Prime minister Modi's first visit included a sold-out event in New York’s Madison Square Garden and meetings with US business executives.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding between the export-import bank and an Indian energy agency.

In 2015, President Obama made his second visit to India as head of state for India’s Republic Day celebrations.

He heralded the relationship between the two largest democracies, saying, 'America can be India’s best partner.'

In 2017, US President Donald Trump welcomed Prime Minister Modi to the White House for their first face-to-face meeting.

The joint statement emphasized on strengthening their defence partnership, cooperating on counterterrorism efforts, and boosting economic ties.

Though Trump had raised sharp disagreements with India over trade, Climate Change, and H-1B visas, these issues were sidelined during the leaders’ summit.

In 2018, during a two-plus-two dialogue in New Delhi, India & US signed the COMCASA - Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement.

This gave India access to advanced defence technology in America. The agreement had been under negotiation for nearly a decade.

In 2020, Donald Trump made his first & last visit to India as US President. New Delhi agreed to purchase US military equipment worth 3 billion dollars.

In July this year, US Defence Secretary Austin visited India to boost partnership and discuss challenges in the Indo-Pacific.

Austin's visit aimed to expand cooperation between the two sides amidst China's growing assertiveness in the region.

Austin also called on Prime Minister Modi and discussed international, regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest.

The upcoming Quad summit and the UNGA come close on the heels of US Withdrawal from Afghanistan and the takeover by Taliban.

The implications of a Taliban-led Afghanistan particularly from India’s national security perspective is likely to figure high on the Quad’s agenda.

Equally important would be the discussions on developments in the Indo-Pacific, as both the US And India aim to counter Beijing's aggression.