US President Joe Biden hosted Indian Premier Narendra Modi at the White House on Friday ahead of a first-of-its-kind meeting of Indo-Pacific allies.
The Quad Leaders Summit will be the first time the leaders of the US, India, Japan and Australia sit-down for a face-to-face meeting in the group's history, highlighting the importance of the region as the allies seek to check China's increasingly assertive actions there.
At the start of Biden's bilateral meeting with Modi beforehand, the US president hailed the relationship between the "largest democracies in the world," saying it "is destined to be stronger, closer and tighter."
"And I think it can benefit the whole world," he said in brief remarks before reporters were ushered out of the Oval Office. "The Prime Minister and I are going to be talking today about what more we can do to fight COVID-19, take on the climate challenges that the world face, and ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific, including with our own Quad partners."
In addition to addressing regional security, Friday's Quad White House gathering will address the challenges posed by climate change, 5G technologies, critical infrastructure and supply chains.
The leaders are expected to announce the formation of a new working group on space, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity ahead of the meeting.
Biden will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in a bilateral format following the Quad summit, but that meeting will not have a press availability, according to the White House./agencies