Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden on Monday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Sunday.

White House spokesperson said that US President Biden will continue “close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets”.

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“The two Leaders will review ongoing bilateral cooperation and exchange views on recent developments in South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region and global issues of mutual interest. The virtual meeting will enable both sides to continue their regular and high-level engagement aimed at further strengthening the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, ”the MEA said, in a statement.

The leaders’ virtual interaction will precede the fourth India-US 2 + 2 Ministerial Dialogue which will be led by Defense minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on the Indian side and their US counterparts, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony J Blinken.

The conversation at the highest political levels is significant in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and India’s carefully crafted diplomatic messaging to both the West led by the US on one side and Russia on the other.

India had recently abstained at the resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, even as it condemned the Bucha killings. This was seen as Delhi sending a signal to Moscow for its actions against Ukraine – its strongest statement so far. However, it has also maintained that it will not align with the US and the West completely, in view of its strategic interests with Russia – crucial being its dependence for defense supplies. There have been a series of high-level visitors from Washington DC in the recent weeks, including US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and US Deputy NSA on International Economics Daleep Singh.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, in a statement coordinated with the MEA, “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will meet virtually with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India on Monday, April 11 to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and our people. “

She said that they will discuss cooperation on a range of issues including “ending the Covid-19 pandemic, countering the climate crisis, strengthening the global economy, and upholding a free, open, rules-based international order to bolster security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific ”.

The reference to “security, democracy, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific” is an oblique reference to Beijing’s belligerence in the Indo-Pacific region.

She said that the leaders will advance ongoing conversations about the development of an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and delivering high-quality infrastructure.

Biden last spoke to Prime Minister Modi along with other Quad Leaders in March.

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