(This was originally posted in The Tribune)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit the US towards later half of the year provided the Covid situation here is under control. In addition to a meeting with US President Joe Biden, PM Modi will participate in a Quad summit with Biden and the Prime Ministers of Japan and Australia said sources.
An in-person Quad summit could not take place on the sidelines of the G-7 summit last week in Cornwall, UK, because PM Modi opted not to travel due to the Covid wave here. Officials from both countries are currently working out the scheduling of the trip after the US made the offer. In order to dovetail the Quad summit with PM Modi’s visit, US government officials are also simultaneously engaged with Canberra and Tokyo.
The US has already broadcast its intention of holding a Quad summit this year. “Our goal is to hold an in-person Quad meeting. A very ambitious meeting here in Washington in the Fall,” Kurt Campbell, the points-man for Indo-Pacific at the US National Security Council, said recently. During PM Modi’s previous visit in 2019, the expectations of a trade deal did not materialize. However, the Biden administration’s USTR Catherine Tai has cleared the decks for negotiations by suspending retaliatory sanctions on India for imposing the digital services tax, they said.